OH MY GOD!
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January 30 - February 1st
Los Angeles ART BOOK FAIR
find us at booth no. 037!
program (so far)
17:00 performance Nicoline van Harskamp
18:00 official opening
18:30 some food
19:00 slow start party
21:00 proceeding party
22:30 hardcore party
NEW ADDRESS PER JANUARY 2015
Onomatopee office & projectspace
5615 PP Eindhoven
OMP101 / Research project
live staging of the second act of "A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-One Englishes"
exhibition January 17th to February 22nd 2015
limited edition book available from January 17th.
In a solo exhibition at Onomatopee, Nicoline van Harskamp brings together three works in new, still ongoing series by the artist on the topic of the future of the English language. In collaboration with art institutions throughout Europe, each work has been (and will be) conceived as an experiment on the different linguistic phenomena associated with the global use of spoken English, by people for whom the language is not their ‘mother tongue’.
Within van Harskamp’s project is the idea that as the dominant language of global capitalism and international politics, English is becoming the world’s primary lingua franca at a pace unmatched by Mandarin or Spanish. With non-native English speakers outnumbering English-speaking populations three to one, the idea of a standard version of the language is increasingly devalued. English speakers world-wide naturally rid themselves from a single native-speaking standard of the language, and co-opt multiple ‘Englishes’ towards emancipatory and creative ends.
The exhibition lends its title to the most recent work, based on “Pygmalion”, a story from 1912 by George Bernhard Shaw, that tells of the power relations between language, class and gender: working class girl Liza Doolittle is attracted by the notion that Professor Higgins can raise her social standing by teaching her to speak English like a lady. But entering into a contract with him, she comes under his manipulative powers – not only her diction, but her identity is remoulded, and often against her wishes.
Van Harskamp collected 21 translations of the play and then invited native speakers of each of these languages - from Turkish to Japanese, from Farsi to Czech – to take it in turns to translate it back into English, initially for a live audience at Kunstraum, London. In the exhibition at Onomatopee, recordings from the reading will play alongside ‘reportage drawings’ from the event and a display of the books used for the translation. The transcribed sessions are also brought together in a limited edition book, that, by taking on all the idiosyncrasies of the quick-fire translations, suggests what a future English may look like on paper.
When reading the transcribed language in print, this future may certainly seem far off, but read out loud, or re-staged, the proximity to the English that we already hear - and use! - everyday, is striking. Nicoline van Harskamp will stage the second act of the book on the opening day of the exhibition. This is a one off opportunity to hear a native English speaking cast perform a non-native English adaptation of a canonical play.
Nicoline van Harskamp (born 1975) has presented her works at, among others, the MUAC, Mexico City; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Manifesta 9, Genk; the 2013 Shanghai Biennial; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Performa 11, New York; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Van Harskamp has staged live works at Witte de With, Rotterdam; New Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Arnolfini, Bristol; Serralves Foundation, Porto; and the Kaaitheater, Brussels. She lives and works in Amsterdam.
Host and advisor: Freek Lomme for Onomatopee
Production assistant: Harvey Herman for Onomatopee
Graphic design: Yorit Kluitman
The production and exhibiting is made possible thanks to the generous support of the municipality of Eindhoven and the Mondiraan Fund and realized in connection with London based project space Kunstraum.