Dialoguing Dialect Installation
Woodcut and collage Alphabet blocks
Woodcut print with lazercut detail
Wood, digital print
Digital Gicleé print
DIALOGUING DIALECT investigates the notions of self and other within the context of language. Contemporary multicultural South Africa reveals a frequent sense of connection yet disconnection. This is often exacerbated by misunderstandings within the diversity of spoken languages and dialects.
My informal role as an art educator in the community of Ocean View presented an opportunity for conversational interaction with young adults from the area. The artwork evolved through this engagement, attempting to decode community slang and exploring the potential for reconnection disrupted through misinterpretation.
The concept of a centre/periphery or self/other relationship is understood in both a psychological and philosophical sense and defines exclusion of “Others” within societies. Working from the peripheral perspective of my own experience, I explore a relational translation or subversion in the language context of the Ocean View community.
The installation Relate/Translate references dialogue and language. Hybridized graffiti-style letters with traces of luminous spray-paint on alphabet blocks, allude to youth culture and the territory or site of this slang. The labour-intensive mark-making required for cutting imagery on these wooden blocks suggests my struggle to decode the vernacular language. In an endeavour to make the unintelligible accessible, a visual dialogue is set up between viewer and artwork using the BLOCK as a metaphor.
View the catalogue for this exhibition here