Katharina Zimmerhackl

Sprache […] Sprache des Menschen

While reading Freud in a reading circle I — at some point ­— started talking with others about the way they ›work‹ with a text. Underlining, encircling, structuring through colour?
I became more interested in the con­nection of typography, language and the process of reading and initiated a participative project: People were in­vited to read a text for me, marking it as usually. For the reading I chose a text by Walter Benjamin entitled Über Sprache überhaupt und über die Sprache des Menschen — a text ana­lysing the nature of language from a linguistic and theological perspective.
I received about 10 texts, completed with marks and annotations, which I transferred into typoscripts to make them easier to compare. Besides I pre­pared a short questionnaire, so that I could interpret the marks correctly. These pre-stages are bundled in a small booklet.
Following the stage of typoscripts I wanted to find a way to express these personalized texts and thus unveil the different resonating meanings of a text. I decided to make a notation of these over-worked texts — the result was a spoken piece for 4 speakers in 5 acts. The system of the notation derived from the material in the typoscripts and so e.g. only marked words were used. The notation is thus a fragmentary (re-)pro­duction of the original text, however these fragments are duplicated, whispered, screamed and so on. The writ­ten language is linked back to the more sub­jective and ›living‹ level of spoken language, including the personal experiences of the readers and their reactions while working through the text.

Digital Laser + Ink Jet Print | 14,8 x 21 cm (book) + 20 x 98 cm (Notation) | 2012

Listen to an excerpt here

Installation View  

Detail Notation as Handwriting

Detail Notation as Handwriting