credits +-

1: Amy Suo Wu. 2: Jumana Manna, Master, Water-Arm series, 2019. 3: Jay Tan, B is for Behind, 2015. 4: BÁRBARA WAGNER & BENJAMIN DE BÚRC, Faz Que Vai (still). 5: Robert Gabris. 6: Evelyn Taocheng Wang, A Hongkong-Dutch Client Licking My Arm during the Massage Treatment, 2015. Courtesy Galerie Fons Welters. 7: Katarina Zdjelar, The Perfect Sound. 8: Ellen Gallagher, Water ecstatic. 9: Jay Tan, Soap Berries at scholar's rock. 10: Jenny Brady, Receiver.

Jenny Brady, Robert Gabris, Ellen Gallagher, Jumana Manna, Jay Tan, Amy Suo Wu (in collaboration with Sami Hammana, Karen Huang, Sarafina Paulina Bonita, and Sandim Mendes), Evelyn Taocheng Wang, rbara Wagner & Benjamin de Búrca, Katarina Zdjelar. Curated by Kris Dittel.

In linguistics, code-switching denotes the practice of alternating between two or more languages in a conversation by multilingual speakers. Now, the term also commonly refers to the adaptation of a style of speech according to the group who is being addressed. In this sense, code-switching is the conscious or unconscious reworking of different cultural and linguistic identities, depending on different situations.  

As a performance of different codes, such as language, dialect, movement, gestures, sound, or rhythm, code-switching allows for significations of mutual belonging as well as differentiation. It is a form of translation that requires certain knowledge of complex contexts, the “reading of the room”. Yet code-switching does not only concern self-expression. It can also be the result of an individual’s reaction to their environment, when code-switching becomes a manner to gain access, protect oneself, exclude others, or a way to “pass” as member of the dominant culture. Code-switching disintegrates identity as a single-subject conception of the self, and as a tool for social control and compartmentalisation. 

Code switching is language, gesture, movement, a dance of the complex layers of the self. But it is also (self-)surveillance, double consciousness, subterfuge, the (self-)management of speech, of manners, of breath. It is restless, uprooted; it is fluid and ever-changing.   


Throughout January until 6 March, the exhibition will be accompanied by a public programme including screenings and artists talks.  

The exhibition was initially commissioned by Sculpture International Rotterdam and developed in response to everyday cultural life in the city. With thanks to Dees Linders, House of Urban Arts, and the Mondriaan Fonds. 

artists

Jenny Brady, Robert Gabris, Ellen Gallagher, Jumana Manna, Jay Tan, Amy Suo Wu (in collaboration with Sami Hammana, Karen Huang, Sarafina Paulina Bonita, and Sandim Mendes), Evelyn Taocheng Wang, rbara Wagner & Benjamin de Búrca, Katarina Zdjelar. Curated by Kris Dittel.