The L’anguish Channel
Opening Address - Prologue (HDV, colour 14' 15'', 2016)
The Opening Address inaugurated the Centre for Language Unlearning at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers - whith an extract avaiblable for consultation here.
The text was originally written by the artists in English before being translated into French. Both versions were then used as the basis for an adaptation into French Sign Language by interpreter Igor Casas, which, on account of the sometimes cross-linguistic wordplay of the original, invited him to invent a number of new sign combinations. For the first part of the Address, Casas performed his interpretation to the theremini as the sound was additionally modified by digital signal processing in response to his hand and body movements. For the second part, meanwhile, a sound recording of the Sign language/theremini performance was played back, subtitled live with in both English and French.
For the second program of The L’anguish Channel, Maglioni and Thomson are presenting a new articulation of the work, focusing on the Address's Prologue. In the editing, three phases of (im)possible translation (sign to theremin, theremin to text, voice to sign) are placed in a state of suspended disbelief.
Opening Address, film still courtesy the artists
Underwritten by Shadows Still
(HD, colour/bw 33 min, 2016)
Originally conceived as a lecture-performance, Underwritten by Shadows Still is a film for inaudible voices composed of subtitled photograms taken from a wide range of films and accompanied by an electronic soundtrack containing manipulated samples of sound (the piano introductions of Lieder and the ambient noises of movie soundtracks) that originate from spaces before or between voices.
The subtitled fragments of film dialogue or monologue are edited together to form a continuous discourse traversing the whole series of stills that moves between philosophical enquiry, everyday remarks and narrative bifurcations.
Underwriting the images as a last promise of a shadow of meaning, the subtitles also constitute another kind of under-writing, a minorised and “poor” language of things half-spoken, riven by cracks, silences and odd shifts in direction and emphasis. In this way, frayed threads of an open conversation are woven between figures from the different films and at the same time are contained within the meanders of another, unassignable voice belonging to and addressing no one in particular. A voice that speaks in the last, or lost, person.
Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni, Underwritten by Shadows Still, 2016