press release

An exhibition by Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart in cooperation with Netwerk Aalst

Curators Hans D. Christ, Iris Dressler, Katia Krupennikova

The Württembergischer Kunstverein will be showing from October 27, 2018, to January 13, 2019, the first solo exhibition in Germany by renowned British artist Imogen Stidworthy (*1963).

With her installations and films Stidworthy asks how social relationship takes shape when words fail, are unstable, or absent. What other forms of meaning and communication emerge at the borders of language?

Stidworthy’s work grapples with the impossibility of glimpsing language from the outside. She works with people whose relationship with language is radically affected by training or staging the voice, or by a condition such as aphasia or autism. Through encounters on the level of personal exchange, her work resonates with ideas and experiences of difference on the wider scale of sociocultural conditions.

The exhibition focuses on nine video installations produced over the past 20 years, alongside new work. They involve figures such as Belgian wiretap analyst Sacha van Loo (Sacha, 2011), the Korean shaman Sun-deok (Speaking in the Voices of Different Gods, 2012–18), Iris Johansson, a Swedish therapist and writer who was non-verbal until the age of 12 (Iris [a fragment], 2018), and a small community of autistic adults and their carers in rural France, which goes back to the experimental project of the French social psychologist Fernand Deligny. These works share a preoccupation with different forms of voicing, in relation to our sense of self and our connection to others. They sound the spaces between voice, speech, and somatic languages, and the uncertainty of sharing a common ground. At the same time they explore the encounter between different modes of being.

The exhibition proposes a new form for presenting media works in which sound and video installations are staged successively. Between exhibition, concert, and cinema screening, a specially created choreography of around 100 minutes leads the visitor from work to work, around the space. This three-dimensional montage which runs continuously as a loop, generates new relationships between the individual works. The visitor will experience this montage in a different way, depending on when she or he enters the exhibition.

Programme / Works in the exhibition About 100 minutes, loop

(1) Dummy (4 minutes) (2) Balayer—A Map of Sweeping (21 minutes) (3) The Whisper Heard (14 minutes) (4) Sacha (listening) (i) (4:20 minutes) (5) A Crack in the Light (10:33 minutes) (6) Sacha (listening) (ii) (2:30 minutes) (7) Closing \ Close By (9:15 minutes) (8) Speaking in the Voices of Different Gods (12 minutes) (9) ALEX (10:30 minutes) (10) Iris (a fragment) (approximately 14:46 minutes)