Stony Brook Matters

‘Mis/Communication: Language and Power in Contemporary Art’ at Zuccaire Gallery

Dahn Gim, Erin from Names I Had You Call Me series, 2018, leather covered muffler with sound

“Mis/Communication: Language and Power in Contemporary Art,” is on display at the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery in Staller Center from November 11 through February 26. The exhibition features video, sculpture, drawing, performance and interactive media artworks by 15 contemporary artists who explore the power of language in a cultural context.

Dahn Gim, Erin from Names I Had You Call Me series, 2018, leather covered muffler with sound
Dahn Gim, ‘Erin from Names I Had You Call Me’ series, 2018, leather covered muffler with sound

It is through language that we can connect with one another, but how is this connection also affected by the power dynamics inherent in language? Artwork by mostly young and emerging artists examines issues such as the global predominance of English, the colonial violence of European languages in the global south, and the societal tendency to censure other languages, dialects and linguistic practices.

The exhibition considers spoken and written language as defined by national or cultural linguistic traditions like Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese and indigenous languages like Bété, Cherokee, and Marra, but also American Sign Language, performative body language, “academic speak,” and Artificial Intelligence’s voice recognition program.

Curated by Amy Kahng, a Stony Brook PhD student in art history, the exhibition is the 2020 winner of the SUNY Prize for Performance, Creation and Curation.

The Zuccaire Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 4 pm and evenings of Staller Center performances.

Learn more about the exhibition

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