Opening new premises and Nicoline van Harskamp exhibition

Opening new premises and Nicoline van Harskamp exhibition


Nicoline van Harskamp, A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-One Englishes. Reportage drawing of live events by Blanche Ellis.

January 13, 2015

festive opening new premises +
Nicoline van Harskamp
A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-One Englishes

18 January–22 February 2015

hallenweg 1c
5615 PP Eindhoven
The Netherlands

info [​at​]

Opening program January 17, 16:30, featuring music and more 
Starting with a live staging of “A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-One Englishes,” featuring Mark Bellamy, Cézanne Tegelberg, Claire King, Mark Kingsford and Ralph de Rijke.

Onomatopee has produced over 100 projects that progressively infect the imagining of our visual culture, progressing into the economy of its experience via capacity offered by artists, designers and critics. Every project consists of an exhibition and a book. Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter.

New show & limited edition publication:

Onomatopee 101
Nicoline van Harskamp
A Romance in Five Acts and Twenty-One Englishes

Nicoline van Harskamp brings together three works in a new, still ongoing series on the topic of the future of the English language. In collaboration with art institutions throughout Europe, each work will be conceived as an experiment on the different linguistic phenomena associated with the global use of spoken English, by people for whom the language is not their “mother tongue.”

Within van Harskamp’s project is the idea that English, as the dominant language of global capitalism and international politics, is becoming the world’s primary lingua franca at a pace unmatched by Mandarin or Spanish. With non-native English speakers outnumbering English-speaking populations three to one, the idea of a standard version of the language is increasingly devalued. English speakers worldwide adopt multiple “Englishes” towards emancipatory and creative ends.
The exhibition takes on the title of the most recent work, that is based on Pygmalion, a story from 1912 by George Bernard Shaw. It tells of the power relations between language, class and gender: working-class girl Liza Doolittle is attracted by the notion that Professor Higgins can raise her social standing by teaching her to speak English like a lady. But entering into a contract with him, she comes under his manipulative powers—not only her diction, but her identity is remoulded, and often against her wishes. 
Van Harskamp collected 21 translations of the play and then invited native speakers of each of these languages—from Turkish to Japanese, from Farsi to Czech—to take it in turns to translate it back into English, initially for a live audience at Kunstraum, London. In the exhibition at Onomatopee, recordings from the reading will play alongside “reportage drawings” from the event and a display of the books used for the translation. The transcribed sessions are also brought together in a limited edition book that, by taking on all the idiosyncrasies of the quick-fire translations, suggests what a future English may look like on paper.
When reading the transcribed language in print, this future may certainly seem far off, but read out loud, or re-staged, the proximity to the English that we already hear—and use!—every day, is striking. Nicoline van Harskamp will stage the second act of the book on the opening day of the exhibition. This is a one-off opportunity to hear a native English-speaking cast perform a non-native English adaptation of the canonical play.

Nicoline van Harskamp (born 1975) has presented her works at, among others, the MUAC, Mexico City; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Manifesta 9, Genk; the 2013 Shanghai Biennial; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; Performa 11, New York and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Live works were staged at Witte de With, Rotterdam; Rhizome at the New Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; BMW Tate Performance Room, London; Arnolfini, Bristol and Serralves Foundation, Porto. She lives and works in Amsterdam.
Host and advisor: Freek Lomme 
Graphic design: Yorit Kluitman
Made possible thanks to the generous support of the municipality of Eindhoven and the Mondriaan Fund and realized in connection with London-based project space Kunstraum.



Onomatopee: opening new premises and Nicoline van Harskamp exhibition
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January 13, 2015

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