This two-day laboratory will become a platform for studying language as a gestural form. The participants will learn about modern sign languages, various communication systems and signs, as well as performative practices involving choreography and plastic arts.
As a poet and artist Marcel Broodthaers explored the convergence and divergence of language and image. The Belgian conceptualist often hinted at the idea—borrowed from the French symbolists, Dadaists and surrealists and significantly reconsidered— that, without meaning, words would become empty forms. The most radical antagonists of the European civilization, the Dadaists, for instance, wished to destroy the word as its basis and the centerpiece of linguistic systems. The surrealists, meanwhile, invented new semantic meanings for existent words aiming to “free the language from useless meanings”.
Like language, plastic arts practices bear a communicative function and face similar problems and questions. Is it possible to develop a system of universal signs? How does the gestural nature of signs depend on words and their meanings? Is there a chance to synthesize diverse choreographic and performative canons, and to express the unspeakable via movement? And after all, which particular gesture is encrypted in the “throw of the dice”? The group will try to tackle these and other issues while creating performances-reflections.