İz Öztat, Lana Čmajčanin, Adela Jušić, Gazmend Ejupi, Damir Očko, Stefanos Tsivopoulos
Curated by: Bea Herhold de Sousa
Venue: Duke’s House 32-38 Duke’s Place, Aldgate , EC3A 7LP
The moment just after a decisive event is silent. Hereafter thought changes. It is a moment of breathlessness, before language bestows different meanings; locations change significance and we experience detachment from ourselves.
The exhibition brings together a number of works, which reflect on the profound effect incisions, namely in political or conflict related contexts, have on experience. The events themselves, even if they are of the magnitude of war or economical crisis , are of lesser importance. The impact they have on the way we perceive and grasp our context however is fundamental. The visual and audible symbolism used in the works becomes a sensory trace structure, a performed re-iteration or a pictorial void. The works structurally and visually relate this impact inherently and in their interaction with each other.
The title of the exhibition’ two mouthsful of silence’ is the last line of Paul Celan’s poem ‘Sprachgitter’, (translated as ‘ Speech-grill’ or ‘Language-mesh’). It refers to the wooden lattice of the confession booth or the more modern entry phone speaker. Celan, with his uniquely pictorial language, also makes an oblique reference to the grid like patterns words form in poetry and prose. Language as pattern is seen as a means of detaching from trauma, with Celan biographically linked to the Shoah and subsequent exodus, to France.
Linguistic and pictorial fragmentation and re-contextualisation can function as artistic tropes to process trauma/incision/revolt as a societal tool for collective recovery or to imply impending change. The exhibition 'two mouthsful of silence' seeks to connect works based on these structural conceits formally and conceptually.