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How To Do Things With Words

Host Jeannie Hopper leads a round table discussion with artists and educators Melanie Crean, Azin Feizabadi, Yael Kanarek, and Huang Ngo about the 2010 exhibition How To Do Things With Words at Parsons's Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. Melanie Crean, who organized this exhibition including the work of fifteen artists and collectives, describes the show as the curating of a series of "radical speech acts." Many of the works reenact or re-stage speech as a means for looking at how it is learned, reinterpreted, and transformed through space, time, and context.

Huong Ngo describes the performance she made with artist Hong-An Truong that reenacts a naturalization test (rigorous; also includes a hefty oath of citizenship for those who are lucky enough to successfully complete it), and explains her involvement with the Cross Wire Collective. Yael Kanarek discusses her performance piece "Trigger Words," in which performers are asked to create a multi-lingual list of words that make them feel nervous to be performed out loud. Azin Feizabadi reads from the script of his film The Interpretation, a film that overlaps poetic analogies of the children's game Mafia (including God as one of the players) with responses from Iranians on their feelings about the Green Movement in the 2009 Iranian election. (86 minutes)


Clocktower Radio Profiles


The hosts of Clocktower Radio interview artists, writers, curators, producers, activists, thinkers and doers.