The Translator’s Voice

The Translator’s Voice

49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine

Nicoline van Harskamp, English Forecast, 2013. Unique live performance and video work, 38 minutes. As part of BMW Tate Live Performance Room, Tate Modern. Photo: Ana Escobar for Tate Photography. © Nicoline van Harskamp & Tate.

January 20, 2015

The Translator’s Voice
January 30–May 3, 2015

Opening: Thursday January 29, 7pm

49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine 
1bis rue des Trinitaires
F-57000 Metz 

View this message on our website in: Armenian / Bengali / Georgian / Haitian Creole / Indonesian / Kurdish /  Quechua / Swahili / Tagalog / Thai / Zulu *

Today, translations are everywhere: facilitating the international trade of goods, enabling diplomatic negotiations between political leaders, interpreting our daily news broadcast, permitting online communication between countries and continents, and introducing us to foreign films and literature. Much of what we know about the world has reached us through translation, and as the pace and intensity of global communication and circulation are accelerating, the need for translations is growing. 

Translation is often associated with loss. After all, languages and cultures are not different ways of saying the same thing, but different ways of saying different things. Translation is therefore always an approximation, an infinitely difficult task of mediating between different expressions of human experience. How can we, then, think of encounters between languages not only as a challenge and a difficulty, but as a source of creativity and learning? How can we understand the world differently in different languages? Can translation be a place for critical or even subversive activity? 

The title of this project, The Translator’s Voice, points in two thematic directions. On the one hand, it encapsulates the idea of making visible the activity—and the voice—of translation, and the gesture of letting it take the center stage as a unique source of knowledge about the nature of cultural differences and about different ways of expressing identity through language. On the other hand, the figure of translator becomes a critical metaphor for the linguistic conditions of globalization and the postcolonial era: the growing need for—and the joy, and the pain of—learning foreign languages; the intentional and unintentional multilingualism of migrants; the tense encounters between “global” languages and “local” cultures, and the phenomenon of hybrid cultures and “accented” ways of speaking and experiencing the world.

Translation then no longer designates just a profession, or an activity. It represents human condition, and more and more often, we find ourselves assuming the role of a translator…

Artists: Sylvie Boisseau & Frank Westermeyer, Erik Bünger, Luis Camnitzer, Rainer Ganahl, Dora García, Joseph Grigely, Susan Hiller, Christoph Keller, Fabrice Samyn, Zineb Sedira, Mladen Stilinović, Nicoline van Harskamp, Ingrid Wildi Merino

Curator: Martin Waldmeier, laureate of the Award 2014 for Young Curators MARCO/Frac Lorraine/SFKM, is a curator and researcher from Basel, Switzerland. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and has recently been the winner of Apexart’s Unsolicited Proposal Program in New York with the exhibition Death of a Cameraman.

*Courtesy of Letters To Other Planets, 2005, Dora García

A coproduction by 49 Nord 6 Est – FRAC Lorraine, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, and Sogn og Fjordane Kunstmuseum. 
The Translator’s Voice will be shown in Vigo (Spain) and Førde (Norway) in 2015–16.

Group visits in English upon request: mediation [​at​]
Complete schedule of events is available on our website:

Access: 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine 
1bis rue des Trinitaires, F-57000 Metz 

The Frac Lorraine enjoys financial backing from the Lorraine Regional Council and the FRAC Lorraine at the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The Translator's Voice at 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine 
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January 20, 2015

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