Four proficient yet not native speakers of English were invited to the remote Swedish island Gotland. The women from Korea, Cuba, Serbia and Iran, each with a specific interest in language, spent three days in an isolated house, a ‘place without language’. They tried to familiarize themselves with each other’s English, using existing linguistic experiments as a tool.
The video work is the result of an improvisation session, where the women speak out each other’s phrases in an unusual range of interpretations, not attempting to correct them into a more accurate English, but staying true to an original sentence.
She Put Me in Complexity of Words was filmed by a local crew on Hammar Beach, the exact location where in 1966 Ingmar Bergman recorded Persona, his portrait of two women who get entangled in each other’s identities. The video resonates Bergman’s film in the atmosphere of language and location, as well as in the title.
With Jinjoo Kim, Setareh Fatehi Irani, Katarina Popovic and Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo.
This work was produced in collaboration with the Baltic Art Centre in Visby, Sweden.