In the depth of the mouth inhabits the light that takes shape
Exhibition dates: January 28 – March 11, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 28 – 5:00PM – 7:00PM
In the depth of the mouth inhabits the light that takes shape reflects on the experience of learning English as a second language. The exhibition draws inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s theory of language, which describes the ways humans communicate in—and, not through—linguistic symbols; language is a conduit and the thoughts that exist in the human consciousness are not always identical to the words that are verbally expressed. The exhibition brings together the work of Elizabeth Ibarra, Jiayun Chen, and Yuchi Ma, whose relationship with speech expands to varying degrees. Having moved to the United States during their late teens, these three artists adopted English as their second language in the context of a foreign academic education. These accounts are fundamental to the making of the exhibition, which proposes a fluid understanding of the bilingual experience and its wider political implications. By introducing cultural displacement, the art of translation, and magical realism into the conversation, the artists introduce various entry points to narratives that cannot be boxed into homogenous, fixed categories.
Yuchi Ma, Elizabeth Ibarra, Jiayun Chen