M/Other Tongue at Tenderpixel
Language is the means by which humanity expresses itself. However, as Sabel Gavaldon curator of M/Other Tongue notes, it is not a natural mode of expression but an implant, a “product of discipline and domestication”.
Jacques Derrida wrote: “I have but one language – yet that language is not mine.” There exists roughly 6,500 languages in the world, each a barrier that permits some and excludes others. There exists no mother tongue, no pure means of expression that is untainted by time or circumstance or has been organically come upon.
What M/Other Tongue aims to expose is the act of ventriloquism in daily life. Everyone speaks a language whose source lies elsewhere and thus no one ever truly owns it.
The exhibition features works by Anna Barham, Olivier Castel, Iñaki Garmendia, Mónica Restrepo, and Katarina Zdjelar; five international voices whose work comes together to interrogate language politics and cultural identity. The exhibition is to be experienced as a passage between languages. An abundance of voices whose identity remains in question.
It is an exhibition that forces the viewer to question the source of identity through pieces that explore the labyrinthine nature of language by alienating viewers from its formation. It challenges preconceived notions of social norm and constructs of identity through absolute translation.
While small, only spanning 4 rooms, it is a truly thought-provoking exhibition that manages to deliver on its aim. Curator Sabel Gavaldon has inhabited the artists’ voices and forced viewers to see that they are not the architects of their own verbal expression.
M/Other Tongue is at Tenderpixel until 28th February 2014, for further information visit here.