Speaking in Tongues, also called glossolalia, refers to the act of speaking in an unknown language.
With his vision of a new theater, the Theater of Cruelty, Antonin Artaud sought to dissolve the boundaries between art and life, stage and audience. In lieu of classical narrative and dialogue, he experimented with movements, sounds, and utterances in an imaginary language. His final work, the radio play “to be done with the judgment of god” from 1947, begins with glossolalia and ends with the proclamation:
When you will have made him a body without organs,
then you will have delivered him from all his automatic reactions
and restored him to his true freedom.
Torn by the dichotomy whereby the body is both body and mind, Artaud desires a body that is not defined by the needs and functions of its organs.
In A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze poses the question: "How do you make yourself a body without organs?"
A Body without Organs creates and forms itself from the infinite possibilities of its virtual potential, independently of its organism. The Body without Organs operates in the free flow of its intensities, desires, and language. In the exchange and intermingling with other bodies, it is continually renewing itself.
The collective body in Speaking in Tongues, which is composed of the various works in this exhibition, can be read as an artistic exploration of the concept of the Body without Organs. This imaginary body reveals itself without solidifying, constantly reshaping its contours. Through its permeable surface, it is able to meld with other bodies. Speaking in tongues, the language of its body comes into existence by speaking equally to the inside and to the outside.