Opening 27th of January 2023
17:00 - 20:00

Vita Buivid
Olga Ganzha
Giovanni Giaretta
Elizaveta Rukavishnikova

Address: Lambertus Zijlplein 7 Amsterdam

Supported by AFK
This exhibition is the second part of the project originally presented at Het Hem (Zaandam) as research project within 'Chapter 5IVE' (Samir Bantal & Rem Koolhaas). The curator, together with mentors from ArtEZ University, analyzed issues of the global urbanization, which was changing many aspects of our lives, and the languages' and dialects' extinction was one of the aspects. The project "DIALECT, LAND(e)SCAPE, CULTURE" became a result of the research and was dedicated to understanding the question is whether the disappearance of dialects a rational and acceptable reality, or can dialects' extinction be a tragic human loss?

Constantly changing landscapes of cities are changing landscapes of languages and dialects. The focus of the project "Silver-Tongue" has been narrowed down to a consideration of a society in which native speakers, refugees, immigrants, expats (in other words, people with different language backgrounds) can live together in the current geographical and political context. Reasons for changing residentships are given secondary importance in this project, bringing to the front the process of learning languages in order to adapt. Acting as a key to access various social spheres, language can become a guide or a sticking point for obtaining a certain status and quality level of life.

The adaptation of non-native speakers depends on several external and internal factors. Internal ones include a balance between the needs of this people in positive social connections, self-realization and their intention to preserve their national and cultural identity. As for external - a willingness of a host society to accept language difficulties of non-native speakers and the ability to provide all the needs in the process of adaptation to new conditions of life and work.

At the intersection of these factors, the question of communication balance arises. Thus, a level of language or dialect proficiency affects a movement between micro and macro perspectives of an area, city/village or country. Tom Wolfe, in his book "The Kingdom of Speech", argues that speech instantly categorizes a person according to economic class, age group, and level of education. This project aims to increase loyalty in such judgments in order to creat social ties based on solidarity and tolerance.

4 artists place emphasis on these factors:

Vita Buivid – «And The Distance Is ...», photo sculptures and sound installations, 2020 - in progress.

The project is presented as an installation in the form of an architectural layout of a non-existent city and a shelter space at the same time: chaotic and out of shape. Visually it refers to Utopian Styles, such as Constructivism and De Stijl.

«Working with archives and historical materials calls my attention to matters of both critical method and evidence. Photo sculptures are made of glass negatives found at flea markets. Consciously pilling off "cuteness" and retro impact of material, thinking about family albums politically (regarding class, race and gender), refusing the simple recovery of the past by the meanings given in the present - I am presenting both aftermath and continuity of immigration.

Implanted mini players, with the immigrants' flashbacks, remind us of unfortunate times, bringing the scent of anxiety and insecurity. I am recovering lost histories of peoples, languages, activities, and events erased or rendered unintelligible within the categories privileged by official archives and trying to find my place on a cultural, social and emotional level. Dealing with the generational trauma, perceiving it as a part of my life and creating from it, I am presenting stories of refugees forced to leave their homeland, taking away only their language, collective memories and mental archives.» - artist Vita Buivid.

The installation's sound includes personal stories from Tatyana Magdich, Haliya Kadyrbecova, Francisco Mojica, Ronald De Vries and Paulina Siniatkina (the Russian artist and activist, shared her diary of working at the Amsterdam Central Station, helping Ukrainian refugees), and other people who chose to remain incognito.

Olga Ganzha - "New Dutch", installation, 2013

New Dutch researches a linguistic personality through their texts in a new language.
Every text has a context, both linguistic and situational, and this context helps to define the meaning. Any text can be torn out of its linguistic or/and situational context and placed in another, as a result of which the same text will function differently and give different meanings. The works of Ganzha demonstrate to us the phenomenon of shifting the boundaries of the perception of a new cultural and geographical reality through changing her own situational context. Along with this, her linguistic context begins to take shape in a new way. Olga got to know the new country through the language, putting her Russian background into the Dutch worlds.

«I believe that language is not only a communication media; language constructs the reality around us. Thus, by living and working in a non-native language environment, we enrich and change our reality. I percept language as a large part of mentality and culture. Moreover, I see language as a living organism that can grow, develop, change, get influenced and degrade through time." – Olga Ganzha

The work is a collection of texts - topics from the Dutch language classes - that Olga had to write as a homework during her first two years in The Netherlands. Each of the texts has a number of language mistakes, which improves from homework to homework.

Giovanni Giaretta – "The Sailor", Video Full HD, 8' 18", 2017

Today, a creation of a new language for a film, series, cartoon or computer game has become a special sign of quality and detailed work. Giaretta created his film based on interviews with people working on the creation of constructed languages for the Hollywood corporations. He was interested in reasons why people begin to learn these languages. They seem to be unable to come to terms with the end of their favorite movie or TV series and are trying to transfer the fictional world into reality through language. Speaking words in this language, they encourage the mind to play their favorite images and scenes again and again.

The process of learning a language for an adult is usually a complex, long and expensive process that must also be systemic. Therefore, the fact that a person makes a choice in the direction of a constructed language emphasizes that language is not just a key to certain social privileges, but something more. Language gives a sense of involvement in community which is mentally significant for some reason.

"A voice-over tells the story of a sailor that dreams of a homeland he has never had; day after day the sailor constructs his new native land shaping it to his imagination. Inspired by Fernado Pessoa's static drama "The Mariner" the video deals with the notion of what each of us addresses as home and foreign and at the same time with issues related to language and its translation.
Playing with the perception of who is watching, confusing it and mixing it, whilst images of landscapes trick the eyes of the viewer creating shadow play illusions, the female voice speaks Na'vi, an invented language artificially created upon commission for the movie Avatar.
Like a second voice, the subtitles suggest a relation established among words, images and imagination." – artist Giovanni Giaretta

Elizaveta Rukavishnikova - «Scrolls of eternity», installation, 2018

«Scrolls of eternity» is an ongoing work. Elizaveta started it in 2018 while living and working in her Johannesburg CBD based studio. Spending nearly a decade in a country Rukavishnikova shares her experience and understanding of South African culture in her works, and her art becomes an experience itself.

This body of work trying to grasp the unknown and the unknowable. It is an epistemological pursuit towards making sense of our place in the entire cosmos.

"The writings displayed in this exhibition are not patterns, nor are they asemic. That is, they are not just artistic expressions led by form and feeling and produced by technique to mimic writing. They are not figures in an "artwork". They are writings. They have precise meaning. They express particular ideasor states. They can be pronounced. There are complex systems at play. There are ideographic forms derived from a multitude of journeys, to the places where the writing comes from. I believe that these markings are of | k'umm , that is, a type of presentiments; precisely formed receptacles of unseen things in written form.
One can describe writing as a method of mental travel between places and times — a conversation without meeting. " - Pule kaJanolintshi, linguist, South Africa.

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