With its performative and technical characteristics performance of Simultaneous Speech recalls the scenes of the speeches of world leaders at the UN or at some international political conference where the speaker is attended by tens of interpreters to make sure that every listener, no matter what his or her country, understands the contents of the speech. With all the institutional effort to overcome the Tower of Babel syndrome, in fact in similar situations one can never examine how much and to what extent such a speech and its signifiers are understood in each one of the translated languages. In Simultaneous Speech 12 interpreters sitting deployed over a stand behind the speaker in fact do not translate his speech, but instead read out 12 different texts. These texts are transcripts of speeches that in various historical moments and on various occasions were made by famous 20th century artists and politicians. The contents are dislocated with respect to the original linguistic, geographical and cultural contexts and driven into those languages in which their original meaning can be understood or interpreted differently. Although performance is visually and structurally staged so as to suggest the discourse of high international politics, Simultaneous Speech in fact sets up a situation in which languages and discourses are so mixed up that they no longer correspond to their linguistic and discursive communities.
source: Dalibor Martinis
Simultaneous Speech, 2008 (05:06)
Performance (Uni theatre, Regensburg) – Data recovery
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