Shady Dealings With Language is four events guest-curated around art writing and performance, in Leeds, London, Manchester and Edinburgh, programmed by Claire Potter.
The first event in the Shady Dealing With Language tour is Language Urges, programmed by writer Lauren de Sa Naylor. It will take place on Tuesday the 13th of May and includes discussion from translator, writer and academic, Eric Prenowitz; an installation and performance from renowned artist and drone musician Bridget Hayden and a one-off curation of miscellaneous writings from recently deceased and greatly missed, campaigner and educator Callum Millard.
Language Urges considers the effect of language on the body. What traces are left by language and how do they work on us? Where does the urge to articulate come from and what does that desire reveal to and conceal from us? Do we have language urges or does language urge us?
With the tenth anniversary of Jacques Derrida’s death as a backdrop, we look to a dislocation of meaning as something that is as significant for the tongue-in-cheek memo writer crafting their double address, as it is for a bi-lingual translator negotiating linguistic shifts, and equally the musician who disseminates information phenomenologically. Experience ploughs through meaning, which is itself cultivated by experience. This flux of production we can guide, signpost and fine-tune, but we can neither command nor predict the transference from one system or body to the next. We each code our knowledge according to our own poetics.
As a result, something is always perceived to be lost in translation; language tending to distort rather than transmit knowledge. But nevertheless it might be that something can be gained through bypassing and de-authorising original texts, traditions and other arbitrarily appointed authorities and systems, affording us the opportunity to delight in the elasticity of meaning and breathe in the freedom of a no man’s land.