Bite the tongue is an online programme investigating notions of language and translation (or absence thereof) in the context of Southeast Asia. The presentation features contributions by Nazry Bahrawi, Melissa De Silva, Jalan Besar Salon, Lee Jing Jing, Russell Morton, Nguyễn + Transitory, Nuraliah Norasid, Miko Revereza, Toh Hun Ping, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Wong Bing Hao, and others to be announced soon.
The title, Bite the tongue, is borrowed from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee. In the context of her writing, the phrase is a meditation (and lamentation) on the pain of speech. The phrase alludes to a severance of mother language, diasporic alienation and swallowing of verbal trauma. When we bite the tongue, are we able to sidestep the limitations of speech? Could we, bypass definition and absolution, laying bare space ready for transmission without destination?
With new and existing works, the research proposes a reflection on counter-languages; untranslatability; resuscitating dialects; social accents; film as an oral archive; listening as a methodology; embodied transmissions. It is a call to return back to what came before the globalised Anglo tongue.
Bite the tongue is curated by artist Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee and curator Jade Barget for XING, a research and curatorial platform centred on the poetics and politics of Southeast and East Asian art practices.
When: 22 Jan - 22 Dec 2021,