Copyright 2012

Saskia Holmkvist

Blind Understanding, 12'14'', 2009




Blind Understanding, the piece you will present during Helicotrema, was part of a film you made in 2009. In it, your own voice tells loosely linked stories about different aspects of language and assimilation. Can you talk about the creation of such text?

Some of the thoughts and stories told in the piece came up during other projects that I have been working on over the last years, where I dealt with similar issues such as multilingualism, translation or miss-understandings. These stories could never fit in and where left aside and at some point it became clear to me that there was a link between them although they where very disparate in topic. That’s when I started to do some more research and dig into the topic around assimilation and what it is to change one’s language, behaviour and what that translation can signify.


Can you talk about the use of your own voice in your artistic work?

I wanted to use my own voice as the text is written as a personal reflection of 4 disparate historical transformations. I also wanted it to be read in broken English as I am not reading in my mother tongue and the whole text reflects the fact of what happens when we change language, behaviour or culture


The last sequence from your piece starts with a sort of definition of narrative: "What builds up a story is language, not history". Could you briefly expand on that?

With this sentence I want to underline that a historical narrative is constructed of language. How the story is written or told will affect our opinion of what happened. History can only be reflected through language but language has many values incorporated within it in the mere epistemology of the words.

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