Magic Word
Exhibitions

FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGIC WORD MOTHER TONGUE

March 9–April 8, 2017
SOMArts, 934 Brannan Street

FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGIC WORD MOTHER TONGUE is a poly-lingual exhibition, featuring artists and performers investigating the relationships between language, culture and identity. Curated by The New Urban Naturalists, FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGIC WORD MOTHER TONGUE (MAGIC WORD) is the third and final exhibition in the 2016–2017 season of the SOMArts Curatorial Residency.

Opening with a free public reception on Thursday, March 9, 6–9 pm, MAGIC WORD seeks to leverage the power and intimacy of language to foster cross-cultural understanding. At a time when polylingualism is increasingly viewed as a threat rather than a strength, MAGIC WORD reveals the strength and resilience inherent in cultural and linguistic diversity.

“The multiple means by which the artists in MAGIC WORD approach language — through video, found objects, flags, sculpture, documentary film, and performance — is only matched by the myriad perspectives highlighted in the exhibition, revealing language’s impact on every aspect of our community and ecology, personal, social, and political lives,” notes Sasha Petrenko, Artistic Director of the New Urban Naturalists.

The opening reception on March 9 will feature an interactive performance installation by The Bureau of Linguistic Reality, as well as performances by Tommy Becker and Christy Chan.

Public programs in conjunction with the exhibition include a film screening of Anita Chang’s documentary Tongues of Heaven on Saturday, March 18, 1–4 pm and a closing reception with performances by Desiree Holman and choreographer Melissa Lewis on Thursday, April 6, 6–9pm.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGIC WORD MOTHER TONGUE
EXHIBITING ARTISTS
Michael Arcega
Tommy Becker
The Bureau of Linguistical Reality
Anita Chang
Christy Chan
Jamil Hellu
Darrin Martin
Cristina Victor
Sasha Petrenko

PERFORMING ARTISTS
Tommy Becker
Christy Chan
Desiree Holman
Melissa Lewis

RELATED EVENTS

Opening Reception
Thursday, March 9, 6–9pm
The opening night celebration features performance activations by The Bureau of Linguistic Reality, Tommy Becker and Christy Chan.

Film Screening & Web Performance
Saturday, March 18, 1–4pm
Join MAGIC WORD artists and curators for a panel and audience discussion of Tongues of Heaven, Anita Chang’s documentary on threatened languages.

Closing Reception & Performances
Thursday, April 6, 6–9pm
Celebrate the exhibition’s closing with multi-media performances exploring language loss, acquisition and cultural de-centering by media artist Desiree Holman and choreographer Melissa Lewis.

Image credit: FOREIGN LANGUAGE MAGIC WORD MOTHER TONGUE, Photo by Marcus Sanders.

Tickets
free
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