Syngamy

2010, digital C-print, keyboard key, 99x99 cm

 

(syn·ga·my) | [sing ́gah-me]

the fusion of two cells to initiate the development of a new individual organism.

 

Despite the initial function of language, communication, it can, through certain acts, disconnect people and meanings equally often as connect them. Syngamy dissolves and reflects on the creative losses and serendipitous accidents that may occur between any type of translations. The creative process started by acknowledgement that on an Arabic-English computer keyboard the mutual phoneme ‘S’ or ( س) is the only key that shares the same position – despite approximately twenty shared phonemes between the two languages. From there, the short story ‘Aluminium’ by author Hasan Dawood – recalling an episode of a fallen British plane in Lebanon and the misguided reactions from the Brits that ensued, misunderstanding a recycling platform for malevolent activity – was sequentially translated to and from Arabic to English five times by different registered translators, which resulted in slight changes in the text and its meanings. After these processes were completed, all of the letter ‘S’s were removed from the final text. Deleting the only mutuality created an additional confusion, leaving the artist consequently lost in translation.

Installation view, ‘WE ARE NOWHERE AND IT IS NOW’ , Occupy Space, Limerick, Ireland, 2010.

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