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2013-2014 Coming to Terms


The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto present:

James Clar, Global English (2011)Coming to Terms

September 2013 -- June 2014   

Curated by John G. Hampton

 Opening Reception: Monday 16 September, 4:00 to 6:00 pm

 Location: Jackman Humanities Institute, 170 St. George Street, 10th Floor

 Public Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 to 5:00 pm

 Image: James Clar, Global English (2011) 6 illuminated signs


List of Works

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Portrait of a Young Man (2012-2013) video, 12 minutes

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Zachary's Cue Cards (2013) 12 A4 sheets dusted with glitter

Simon Glass, On the Tower of Babel (2013) vinyl lettering with letterpress chases

Nicoline van Harskamp, The New Latin (2010) DVD video, 30:23

James Clar, Global English (2011) 6 illuminated signs

Thea Jones, Restitching III (2012) 14 embroidered drawings

Carl Trahan, Derangement (2013) chalk, 12'4" x 5'

Carl Trahan, Doppelganger (2008) paint, plaster

Haegue Yang, Three Kinds in Transition (2008) 235 images, Apple Cinema Display on loop




"All translation is only a somewhat provisional way of coming to terms with the foreignness of languages"  (Walter Benjamin, as translated by Harry Zhon)

Every year, the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto invites scholars to respond to an annual theme. The exhibition Coming to Terms responds to the Institute's 2013-2014 theme on the subject of Translation and the Multiplicity of Languages.  It brings together seven international and interdiscipinary artists working within the intersection of translation studies and artistic practice. The exhibition sprawls through the halls and offices of the Jackman Humanities Institute and is structured around three interconnected themes: Hegemonic Anglophonization and its effects; deconstructionist translation; and paralinguistic translation. Employing a myriad of divergent mediums including video, vinyl text, commercial signage, chalk diagrams, and embroidered silk, the artists in Coming to Terms survey the concessions and accessions made when meaning is exchanged across disciplinary, cultural, linguistic, and material borders.

Jackman Humanities Institute 2013-2014 Theme: Translation and the Multiplicity of Languages

What are the implications of knowing more than one language? From mythic reflections on the Tower of Babel through contemporary philosophical reflections on the question of translation, the multiplicity of languages has been an ongoing focus of inquiry. How is translation possible, both in the specific sense of translating speech or texts, but also in the larger sense of bringing meaning from one system to another, including from speech to writing? How do we conceive of languages of music, as well as song; icons and symbols as well as scripts? How best can we interpret the exchanges between languages in a world of multilingual interactions? In the ancient Near East, for example, a number of written bilingual texts sometimes reflect a local language and lingua franca, other times reflect a political orientation and appeasement or defiance. Translation between cultures and languages produce unintended results, often creating new originals. Amidst these multiple languages, what is the impact of the untranslatable?

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