Nicoline van Harskamp uses varieties of internationally-spoken English to propose a future shaped by the ubiquity and constant evolution of the language, and its inevitable divergence from hegemonic norms. Portrait of an Englishes Collector sees a fictional amateur linguist conduct a methodical, though scientifically frivolous study of the lingua franca spoken in remote parts of the world. Through a series of fractured phone conversations, he uses
the International Phonetic Alphabet to collect fragments of pronunciation and language use.
Devised with actors, students, and sometimes linguist, van Harskamp’s performative actions, plays, documents and video works bring out the correspondence between content and the aesthetic framework in which it comes into force.
Marianna Christofides' Perennial Limbo is a portrait of the artist’s late father, consisting of some 400 cardboard sheets cut out by hand and held together with metal clamps. Each piece contains a manuscript fragment transferred from the subject’s diaries – here obscured and inaccessible lest the representation be disassembled.
Part of the cardboard head appears to be missing – repurposed by the artist in another work, where it serves as a topographical feature.
Working primarily in installation, film and text, Christofides studies the multiplicity of images that form consensus and collective memories, treating each as an imaginary document. Her collection of moments, objects, places and physical experiences – sometimes brought into gallery spaces wholesale, sometimes represented in poetic imagery - creates an illusion of traveling through a familiar yet fictitious world. Events can unravel at geological speeds, and whole lifetimes appear in singular objects.