Vent & Mimesis forms a response to the issues of globalization. Created within the context of Britain and the current concerns with immigration and the growing number of asylum seekers and refugees within Britain, the work reflects a pervading anxiety with 'difference'. Despite the opening up of borders, the flow of goods, people, and ideas that globalisation facilitates and depends on, the work chooses to explore the continual and extensive patrolling of borders with a focus on the more personal. Vent & Mimesis involves the artist and her 'dummy' rehearsing, reciting, and reconstructing a “pledge”. Terminologies such as loyalty, obligation, allegiance that form the backbone of the pledge are exposed as culturally contingent terms. In 2001, the Home Office in the UK had under discussion the incorporation of a pledge for all newcomers to the UK who sought permanent residence. The making of the work is not only a process of enactment but of re-enactment. A re-enactment of a site of power, ambiguity, control. The understanding of the spoken word in the work becomes contingent on an extra desire and patience to understand. Spoken backwards and then edited forwards, the texts slip between something audible and acceptable to something completely alien. Ventriloquism as stated in the dictionary is the act of making a voice sound as if it came from some other source - or 'elsewhere'.
Format: DVD single screen
Duration: approximately 14.04min
Commissioned by: Judith Stewart as part of Strangers To Ourselves
Shown at: Canterbury Art Gallery and St John Street, London,
Chiangmai, Bangkok and Berlin (Ethnographic Museum) as part of Identities versus Globalisation, a Heinrich Boll touring show
Publication: Identities versus Globalisation Catalogue. Strangers to Ourselves Catalogue.