Nicoline van Harskamp and Scriptings
My Name is Language
My Name is Language is an event by Nicoline van Harskamp and Scriptings with Antonia Majaca, Kenneth Philip George, Miya Yoshida, Farriba Schulz, Antonia Alampi and Achim Lengerer.
In this event the key tenets of Nicoline van Harskamp’s work will be addressed: the future of global link languages (notably Englishes) and the future of naming in multilingual contexts. These are present in the online project Englishes Mooc and in the ongoing performance and video series My Name is Language. A book with the same title, recently published by Scriptings and Archive Books, offers reflections on these projects as well as many script excerpts from them.
When using Englishes or another link language, names remain untranslated. Fixed in corporate and state systems more firmly than numeric tax ID’s or IP addresses, names are no longer treated as language but as lexically opaque formulas. In their indifference to language diversity, authorities are known to rephrase, re-order and re-alphabetize names when they don’t fit their administrative standard. They are also known to deny rights to people without a stable name label.
For My Name is Language, Nicoline van Harskamp asked people about how names affect their lives, conversations that led to intimate observations about how names are affected by the power struggles within politics, religion, education or even kinship. Their stories are retold by people in the waiting rooms of bureaucratic institutions, places where names are in actuality filed, inflicted or withdrawn.
At KW Institute for Contemporary Art residents of Berlin will read up a single monologue from the series that they have picked from one of the performance scripts. They will then reflect on this monologue from their specific interests or expertise. Readers and audience are invited to offer comment.
My Name Is Language is published in the series Scriptings: Political Scenarios (Ed. Achim Lengerer) by Archive Books and EECLECTIC (e-book) and made possible by the Mondriaan Fund.
Nicoline van Harskamp’s work considers acts of language and solidarity. Her live works were staged, among other places, at Steirischer Herbst in Graz, M HKA in Antwerp, Tate Modern in London, New Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Arnolfini in Bristol, Serralves Foundation in Porto, and the Kaaitheater in Brussels. Her upcoming online event series Contagious Speech is produced with the University of Québec in Canada.
Van Harskamp is a professor for performative art at the Kunstakademie Münster.