She was brought up between languages. Where French was only rarely whispered at home, and remained incomprehensible in the context of her father’s family, who mixed it up with Creole, English remained the maternal language of the everyday. Her mother majored in French, and that is how her parents met and made her, by passing the language back and forth between them, and by the careless passage of expended fluids. In response to this long lost whispered discourse of lies, loss, and fluids, this critical spatio-temporal practice will engage in the liminal space that is created between curtain and window. A chair with a slip cover appropriated from Julieanna Preston’s installation will be placed behind the curtain, and will face toward an adjacent wall. From within the partially hidden place located behind a drawn translucent curtain, hung before a window, two sets of lips, one present, one absent, will mutter Luce Irigaray’s text, ‘The Mechanics of Fluids’ and move the curtain by way of the whirlwind of the breath. The recorded voice of the notional mother, with traces of an Australian accent, will read the text in the original French, and the daughter’s live voice will read over the mother, interrupting her, and making the occasional passing remark on the text, in the translated English. The father’s voice will remain absent. The daughter’s voice will be multiplied and performed by invitation: two books will be provided, one with the original French version of Irigaray’s ‘The Mechanics of Fluids’ and one holding the English translation. ‘Daughters’ will be invited to take a seat behind the curtain and read fragments of the English translation, so that the live voice of women are to be heard murmuring over the recorded voice of the notional mother who speaks the text in French.
“She speaks as she is not one”, a creative project included in Prof. Jane Rendell, convener Whirlwinds panel, in Sexuate Subjects, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK (3-5 December, 2010).