DOING THINGS WITH WORDS @ Kunstverein Braunschweig
Feiko Beckers, Mike Bourscheid, Colonial Neighbours, Christian Falsnaes, Lina Hermsdorf, Hassan Khan, Hanne Lippard, Teresa Solar, Adrian Williams
As part of the performance program: Ricardo Domeneck, Balz Isler
The group exhibition DOING THINGS WITH WORDS presents, explores and questions current trends in language- and performance-based art works. The invited artists share a particular interest in embodied speech that is inseparably tied to the movements of the performer and visitor. Against the background of the much quoted speech act theory of J. L. Austin, published in 1962, the works in the show approach various themes relating to how words and the world affect each other: how what is said ends up forming society and its structures, in turn, influencing the ways that it is described? Where do we locate the boundary between theatrical and performative speech acts and their promise of authenticity?
ADRIAN WILLIAMS developed two new series of works for DOING THINGS WITH WORDS, which investigate the conditions of communication: How much of an impact do seating arrangements—in venues ranging from kitchens to pews—have on conversation? How do people speak when they are at eye level, across from, or next to one another? Authoritarian speech is CHRISTIAN FALSNAES’ focus: visitors to the Kunstverein Braunschweig are confronted with direct requests that they can hardly refuse in their desire for fifteen minutes of fame. HANNE LIPPARD and HASSAN KHAN attend to the ambivalence of speech in both its spoken and written form: What can be heard in the margins of what is said and how might an idea that lies beyond the utterable be presented? MIKE BOURSCHIED presents an action with a chorus of two other performers and wearable objects that address common cliches of gender-specific communication and implicate them in a more complex, non-binary understanding of gender. In the exhibition DOING THINGS WITH WORDS, influences from spoken word poetry are just as evident as sculptural encounters with various forms of communication. Taking the Kunstverein Braunschweig’s performance-based group exhibition PROCESS PERFORMANCE PRESENCE (2016) as a precedent, DOING THINGS WITH WORDS addresses the interplay between speech and physical action. Both thematic exhibitions reflect a young generation of artists’ interest in formulating live moments as an alternative to a digital present, in which the unity of action, place, and time can no longer be taken as a given. The exhibition will be complemented by a performance program.
FEIKO BECKERS (*1983 in Witmarsum; NL), MIKE BOURSCHEID (*1984 in Esch-sur-Alzette, LU), CHRISTIAN FALSNAES (*1980 in Copenhagen, DK), LINA HERMSDORF (*1985 in Hamburg, DE), HASSAN KHAN (*1975 in London, GB), HANNE LIPPARD (1984 in Milton Keynes, GB), TERESA SOLAR (*1985 in Madrid, ES), ADRIAN WILLIAMS (*1979 in Portland, Oregon, US). As part of the performance program: RICARDO DOMENECK (*1977 in São Paulo, BR) and BALZ ISLER (*1982 in Zurich, CH).
Curator: Jule Hillgärtner
Curatorial Assistants: Miriam Bettin und Nele Kaczmarek