Un-Making Image #8: Arabic Letter Seen [س], Arabic Letter Wow [و]

What does it mean to exist as an image, as something seen but never comprehended?

In this talk, Urok Shirhan presents a speculative collection of found materials and practices of 'othering' that utilise language as forms of imagery.

Looking at the relations and encounters between language, image, and power, she considers how mechanisms of image production and distribution engineer particular forms of encounters, and as such, amount to what she calls the Slow Violence of Images.

The talk will invite us to think more deeply about experiences and encounters that subjugate voices, bodies, and peoples, to ‘otherness’.

Urok Shirhan (Iraq/The Netherlands) is an artist whose work explores the politics of image, sound and speech in relation to (national) identity. Working mainly with video, performance and writing, her projects are often entangled with found materials and autobiographic narratives. Her latest body of research considers questions of the voice as well as the tongue as relating to language, phonetics, displacement and belonging.

Urok holds an MA (Hons.) from Goldsmiths University in London and a BFA from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She was an artist in residence at the Delfina Foundation in London (2018); Research Fellow at the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2017) in Amsterdam; Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht (2015/16) and Ashkal Alwan’s HWP in Beirut, Lebanon (2012/13).

* This project is supported by Gemente Rotterdam (Subsidie Visuele Kunsten) and Stad in de Maak. This event is hosted by TENT Rotterdam.