‘…The language lined with flesh, a text where we can hear the grain of the throat, the patina of consonants, the voluptuousness of vowels, a whole carnal stereophony: the articulation of the body, of the tongue, not that of meaning, of language.’ Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text (1973)
Outpost is proud to present Gabriella Beckhurst’s debut solo exhibition, My Inarticulate Tongue. Continuing Beckhurst’s occupation with spatial embodiment, My Inarticulate Tongue takes the form of an expanded video work to explore modes of sound, voice and embodiment in filmic space, as well as the architectural space the work situates within.
Its title draws on a twofold reading of inarticulacy, both in terms of a linguistic inability concerned with the utterance and pattern of speech, as well as a failure to act as a translational device: of an unfit grasp of a secondary language unable to pass the knot of the tongue. While the literal rhetoric attributed to the tongue, such as ‘tongue-tied’, and critically – ‘mother tongue’ – is also investigated.
Tracing the ‘familial seam’ between the artist and her mother, the symbiosis between the two is explored through moments of closeness and dislocation, collapsing and folding to move between subject and object. While the patent slippage between internalised narrative and external production takes heed to Kaja Silverman’s 1988 text The Acoustic Mirror, namely the theory that Hollywood cinema has often subordinated the female voice to the diegetic ‘closets’ and ‘crevices’ of filmic interiority. Further references are drawn from Barthes’ use of the term ‘fleshiness’ to describe the carnality of cinematic speech, thrown into the ear of the audience.
Gabriella Beckhurst lives and works in London. She studied Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts, graduating in 2013. Recent screenings and exhibitions include The Lab Film Festival, London (2013) and Savorr XI, Norwich (2013).