Burning Speech

24 June 2021 – 10 October 2021

Burning Speech
Curated by Irene Calderoni and Bernardo Follini
Opening 24 June 2021, 6.30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Burning Speech explores the power of language, its capability to act on reality, and its function of establishing communities and political debates. Stemming from speech act theory by philosopher J. L. Austin, which states that saying something equates to producing a real effect in the world, “Burning Speech” investigates language as a tool for establishing subjectivities and a collective body. The exhibition project belongs to the same thinking landscape as various authors, who for years have studied the concept of performativity – first and foremost philosopher and activist Judith Butler, in whose work the emancipatory and aggregative value of words, and their critical implications, were widely recognized. Language is revealed as an incandescent matter, a burning element that needs to be treated responsibly, as it entertains with our bodies a constant relation of production and representation: a self-affirming tool, capable of defining its own horizon, but also a violent conveyor of discrimination and incitement to hatred.

Artists: Ruth Beraha, Anouk Chambaz, Claire Fontaine, Antonio Della Guardia, Simon Denny, Beatrice Gibson, Sharon Hayes, Adelita Husni-Bey, Bouchra Khalili, Barbara Kruger, Liz Magic Laser, Hanne Lippard, Eva Marisaldi, Slavs and Tatars, Cerith Wyn Evans.