Current Show: Keep Taking it Apart at Note On Berlin.
My works reflect upon the limits of language and the flaws of communication. I am fascinated by the myth of a perfect language, which can express everything the mind can think of. The impossibility of such a language nurtures my artistic practice. In my time-based pieces, I investigate the question of translation from ideas to language and also from one language to another. I find this problem intriguing because it is a part of a larger philosophical question as well as it is an everyday matter.
Wittgenstein describes the relationship between the mind and the language with a metaphor of two planes. On plane I, there exists ellipses and rectangles of various sizes. These shapes are projected as circles and squares to Plane II. A great deal of data is lost in translation irreversibly between Plane I (thoughts) and II (language). As an artist who is curious about the capacity of language, my interest lies in the visual representation of this flawed process of translation.
My latest piece 'In a Manner of Speaking' is a video installation, which comments on the translation of ideas into words. The piece utilizes two techniques, live-action and stop-motion, as an analogy for thoughts and language. A performer is asked to undertake a simple task and this action is recorded on video. Afterwards, the performer reenacts the same action frame by frame to create a stop-motion version of this event. Same movement is meticulously recreated in the exact same amount of frames, however the second version results to be discrete and choppy when compared to the smoothness of the original. Translation from live-action to stop-motion alludes to the translation of thoughts into language. The final version resembles the original, however we know that something is not quite exact. Language lacks the precision and the level of abstraction in the mind, and it can only be a choppy, low-resolution replica of our thoughts.
During the shooting of 'In a Manner of Speaking', I also documented myself directing the performer for stop-motion. I used a stop-motion software to overlay the live-feed over the original video. This way, I could be as precise as possible while matching the stop-motion frames to the live-action video. Looking at the overlaid footage, I knew exactly how I should position the performer, however I did not know how to put it into words. We do not have words for the trivial movement of the eyes, the tiniest wiggle of the finger, or the openness of the lips. The process of me struggling to tell the performer how she should position herself became a metatext of the piece which gives a clear reading of the concept.