Tate Modern presents Project Space: Word. Sound. Power group exhibition

Tate Modern presents Project Space: Word. Sound. Power a group exhibition on view 12 July–3 November 2013, about the relationship between language and power.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan with Janna Ullrich, Conflicted Phonemes (detail), 2012. Installation. Design by Janna Ullrich. © the artists

Lawrence Abu Hamdan with Janna Ullrich, Conflicted Phonemes (detail), 2012. Installation. Design by Janna Ullrich. © the artists

Word. Sound. Power. is the result of a curatorial collaboration between Tate Modern in London and Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi, who will take the exhibition in early 2014. Opening in London on 12 July 2013, the show brings together eight emerging and established international artists, including new and specially commissioned works.

The gallery’s window will be transformed into an ‘invisible speaker’ for the exhibition, playing Caroline Bergvall’s Voice, 2007. This spoken-word piece involves Bergvall reading poetic verses which describe the varied and familiar experiences of the human voice. Also on display will be a new film work by Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, which was specially commissioned for the exhibition. This work follows the lives of four young men, living in the local communities around Tate Modern and Khoj. United through hip-hop culture, dance, rap and poetry, this piece highlights their attempts to find expression and empowerment.

Word. Sound. Power. will also feature performances by Indian artist Mithu Sen. In the afternoons of 12, 13 and 14 July, she will make public readings of a new work titled I am a Poet, 2013, which she describes as being ‘not bound by rules of grammar, diction, vocabulary and syntax’. By speaking this ‘asemic’ text—a kind of abstract, nonsense writing—Sen highlights how access to power is intrinsically linked to the use of language. The politics of speaking and listening is further explored in the work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan, whose audio documentary The Whole Truth, 2012, and voice maps Conflicted Phonemes, 2012, will also be on display. In these works, the artist examines a practice used by immigration departments across Europe in which a person’s accent is analysed to validate their eligibility for asylum.

Poetry and song play an integral role in this exhibition and are explored through the work of four documentary and experimental filmmakers. An early work by radical filmmaker Amar Kanwar, A Night of Prophecy, 2002, records the songs of activists across the Indian regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, and Kashmir. An adaptation of Anjali Monteiro & K.P. Jayasankar’s film Saccha (The Loom), 2001, features the poet Narayan Surve’s encounter with politics through his poetry. Surve was at the forefront of Mumbai’s role as the birthplace of the Indian textile industry and industrial working class. Pallavi Paul’s films Nayi Kheti (New Harvest), 2013, and Shadkosh (A Dictionary), 2013, combine fiction with documentary and found footage in order to construct metaphysical conversations between poets living through different epochs of history.

Project Space: Word. Sound. Power. is curated by Loren Hansi Momodu at Tate Modern and Andi-Asmita Rangari from Khoj International Artists’ Association.

The curatorial exchange is organised with the collaboration of Gasworks.

Tate Modern
Project Space, Level 1
Admission free
Hours: Daily 10h–18hr; Friday–Saturday 10h–22hr
T 020 7887 8888