Image: Nicola Gunn

A word is not a thing

Nicola Gunn

A performed conversation that uses both text and movement to see what happens when the interrogation of language, intention and dramaturgy is made visible.

“Lately I’ve been looking at using language and choreography to create performance essays, but not in an intellectual or academic way, but because I’m interested in the effect of language on the body and vice versa in a more extended, less narrative-driven and magical kind of way. And then I got interested in the idea of translation, but not in a linguistic, theoretical kind of way, but in a more… magical kind of way.

Can I use translation from one language into another not to expose the possibility of multiple interpretations or misinterpretations or to show how language can act as an agent to create understanding between people, although this might happen if the conditions are right, but can I use translation in a more, yes I would say, more magical way?” – Nicola Gunn.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Nicola Gunn is an award-winning writer, director, performer and designer, who combines text, choreography and visual art to make contemporary performance work in response to a self-generated impulse to tell a story or explore a form. She has been making performance since 2002, finding parallels between personal experiences and larger social realities to explore power relations and the idea of autobiographical fiction. Recent works include Working with Children (2019); Playing Shop (2017); Mermermer (2016); Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster (2015); Green Screen (2014); and In Spite of Myself (2013). She published her first comic book with illustrator Michael Fikaris called Instruction Manual for Lonely Mountains in 2016.

 

Her work has toured throughout Australia and to France, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, the US, Canada and Chile, presenting her work in international festivals such as Venice Biennale di Danza, Tanz im August, PuSh, Jacob’s Pillow, Meteor, Fierce and Santarcangelo Festivals. Nicola is the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts Creative Australia Fellowship, an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship, a Sidney Myer Fellowship and a Churchill Fellowship.