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Against Ordinary Language

In collaboration with Sarah Browne
Performed at Tate Liverpool, November 2017
Images / Stills: Sarah Browne

'Transforming Tate Exchange Liverpool into a gym-like environment, Browne will introduce sculptures that can be touched, handled and used. Made and constructed from gym equipment and disability aids, they have been produced to be used as training tools, even if their purpose is not obvious.

This one week project at Tate Exchange, Liverpool takes its title from an essay of the same name by Kathy Acker. In this essay, Acker – known for her feminist & queer approach to literature and for her appropriation of existing language in particular – attempts to find words to talk about her experience of bodybuilding, in a gym. She describes the gym as a 'geography of no language' as the bodies that work there tend to be vocal without being verbally articulate:

‘I am in the gym three out of every four days. What happens there? What does language look like in this place? According to cliché, athletes are stupid. Meaning: they are inarticulate... but my experience when I am in the gym is that I am immersed in a rich and complex world.''

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