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Speaking without words

Description: My thesis project consists of a ten-minute-long performance during which, I impersonate a formal figure, while holding a speech comprised solely of filler words. During the performance, the figure stands against a white setting, creating an ironic contrast that reflects the complexity and ambiguity of this set of every-day words. Resulting from the exploration of the place of fillers in verbal communication, this performance centres particularly on how this category of words conveys culturally and linguistically specific mental states. The art of public speech in performance art, as a means of questioning dynamics of communication, social interaction, and power, also plays a central role in this work. Instead of emphasizing the literal meaning of fillers, the performance highlights the emotional and experiential aspects conveyed through tone, facial expressions, speaking speed, and gestures. The specificity of this cultural and language reserved comprehension is exalted by the implementation of the three foreign languages, that the figure holding the speech is fluent in. She attempts to assert and underline the cross-cultural ambiguity factor and test the viewers’ perception. These aspects play a significant role in the artist’s own relationship with fillers in foreign language implementation, acquisition and embodiment. She questions the effectiveness of fillers as communicative tools of use in every-day life, as well as the themes of cultural identity understanding and perception of experience.

Genre: Performance

Components: Performer, white formal clothing, speech manuscript, white table, white chair, three white delimitating curtains, warm eight point lighting, shirt clip microphone

During: Summer semester 2023

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