stuttgart,-germany

Samuel Beckett, Not I, 1977, video, black-and-white, sound, 15 minutes 6 seconds. From “Acts of Voicing.”

“Acts of Voicing”

Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart

Samuel Beckett, Not I, 1977, video, black-and-white, sound, 15 minutes 6 seconds. From “Acts of Voicing.”

The voice has been a major theme in contemporary political theory, especially since Judith Butler began directing attention to the potential violence of speech, for instance in her 1997 book Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. The great value of the deeply thought-out exhibition “Acts of Voicing: Über die Poetiken und Politiken der Stimme” (On the Poetics and Politics of the Voice) was its demonstration of how the voice has been a theme for art as well. At the center of the exhibition was a projection showing a disembodied mouth: lips, teeth, oral cavity. It was moving fast—too fast. A female voice could be heard describing the fate of a nearly mute woman, but no, she herself is not this woman, though one could hardly understand the voice, which speaks too fast: It is reciting Samuel Beckett’s play Not I, filmed by the BBC in 1977. Only shreds of it can be

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