Men Gather, In Speech studies artists’ complex relationship with dialogue and the voice

Men Gather, In Speech studies the artists’ complex relationship to dialogue and the voice

Rose English / Credit: Jim Harold

Curator Sophia Hao brings together films by Rose English, Abri de Swardt and Emma Charles

For Men Gather, in Speech, curator Sophia Hao has brought together Rose English, Abri de Swardt and Emma Charles. It’s the artists’ complex relationship with dialogue and the voice that will be studied through the exhibition. ‘While it’s a site for the act of seeing,’ says Hao, ‘the gallery is an intersection with dialogue and critical engagement where new ideas, perspectives and possibilities take shape.’

Each artist will be represented by work taken from different stages in their career with English screening Plato’s Chair, a work from the 1980s, when she’d already established herself as an influential performance artist. It’s a seminal piece, heralding the appropriation of speech and the voice within the visual arts.

South African artist de Swardt presents a fictionalised and impossible conversation staged between artists Paul Thek, Derek Jarman and Félix González-Torres. I’ll never wear sunglasses again is a film which places naked performers in an empty, white void while the voice alternates between pure, theatrical and Queer elucidation.

London-based artist Charles exhibits Fragments on Machines, a film that visualises the internet’s physical mechanics and its vast depositories of circulating sediments of speech, video, image and text. These technological spaces, while inhabiting and cultivating dialogue and the politics of its transactions, paradoxically reveal loss and disappearance.

Cooper Gallery, DJCAD, Dundee, until Sat 21 Feb

Emma Charles, Rose English, Abri de Swardt: 'Men gather, in speech …'

A film exhibition touching on Hannah Arendt's notion of 'the space of appearance' and the ways in which the public realm of action and speech between people is being slowly silenced.

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