When: 18th March – 11th June 2017
Where: Chapter Arts, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff CF5 1QE
What is it?
A free exhibition, These Rotten Words, will take place from 18th March to 11th June at Chapter Arts in Cardiff.
Encompassing photography, painting, sculpture, sound and moving image works, These Rotten Words focuses on the physicality of textual, gestural and vocal forms of communication.
Rottenness is defined as both bad and decayed and, in a world where public discourse has become increasingly dominated by divisive polemics, the exhibition embraces language that is more contingent and intimate. The artists call attention to the physical properties of communication; the mouth and the hand are inextricably linked and while the hand enables us to shape materials, the voice — and our use of language — offers a further tool to manipulate the world around us.
To rot is to decompose, offering an opportunity for reassembly. The artists in the exhibition suggest a form of renewal, probing the possibilities and limits of the body and its voice. Text can be a vehicle for melody as much as meaning. We may talk before we know exactly what we want to say. Speech is slippery, and intention is as much about inflection as content; all languages carry inefficiencies and lacuna.
Anna Barham presents a new, single-screen video exploring the cicada; an insect, with tongue shaped wings, that is primarily heard rather than seen.
Marie-Michelle Deschamps and Anneke Kampman will each be producing a series of new sculptures and audio works that examine the sonic and acoustic properties of the voice. Kampman’s work, a kind of alternative audio guide, will provide a narrative through the exhibition.
Devlin Shea, Rebecca Ackroyd and Joanna Piotrowska recall John Bulwer’s assertion that ‘gesture is the only language natural to the body’, each focusing on bodily gesture. Johann Arens’ sculptures promote tactile engagement, framing the spectator’s gestures alongside the other work on display.
Foundation Press, a platform for experimental publishing activity in Sunderland, will undertake a brief residency during Experimentica; presenting a series of print workshops and printed artworks in response to the exhibition.
These Rotten Words has been commissioned by Chapter to coincide with Experimentica, the arts centre’s annual festival of live art. This year Experimentica is exploring Secret Language and features the work of Getinthebackofthevan, Katy Baird, Jonny Cotsen, Tim Bromage, Keir Cooper, Robbie Synge, Anti-Cool and Sheree Naqvi. The festival runs from 29th March to 2nd April.
More info: www.chapter.org