Thinking and Speaking
Curated by Stefanie Hessler
“Just as the imaginary situation has to contain rules of behavior, so every game with rules contains an imaginary situation.” ~ Lev Vygotsky in “Mind in Society”
The exhibition “Thinking and Speaking” takes its title from Lev Vygotsky’s founding work of constructivist psychology from 1934. It brings together different attempts by artists to appropriate language and invent new idioms as a means for understanding systems and creating new worlds.
Language is at the base of societal power structures, and – as Michel Foucault has pointed out – power itself is exercised through discourse. If speech is crucial for determining societal systems and the constitution of subjects, and norms are so embedded as to be beyond our notice, a way to rethink them may be by altering the use of language itself. The exhibition “Thinking and Speaking” looks at modes of appropriating and experiencing idiomatic systems from a meta-linguistic perspective and with an emphasis on play.
The artists in the exhibition playfully analyse and question language as we take it for granted. Some invert aesthetically orchestrated and manipulated signs used to exercise power. Others address the relation between speech and temporality. Some deal with the impossibility to translate abstract ideas and dreams into oral speech. Still others point to the formal relationship between diction and physicality, or create abstract and visual forms of poetry. The exhibited works are not all connected to idiomatic language, but build their own regimes by bringing forth objects that do not fit into any category, and expressions of ideas that do not yet have any corresponding semiotic signifier.
Play and appropriation can be so associative and replete as to overbear the possibilities of translation from thought to speech completely. By contriving new patterns of expression that transgress or modify existing ones, deadlocked structures may be detected and discarded.
Performance by Nanna Nordström and Gideonsson/Londré 19.00 during the vernissage
Vernissage: 4th April 2013, 17.00 – 20.00
Exhibition period: 5th April – 12th May 2013
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11.00 – 18.00, Saturday – Sunday 12.00 – 16.00
Installation views are available after the opening at www.nordenhake.com
Please contact the gallery for further information and press images
Upcoming exhibition: Johan Thurfjell, 16th May – 20th June 2013