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Daughter's Tongue: The Intimate Distance of Translation

Morra, Giovanna (2007) Daughter's Tongue: The Intimate Distance of Translation. Journal of Visual Culture, 6 (1). pp. 93-110. ISSN 14704129 [Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Translation theory
Creative Arts and Design > Film & Video]
Creators:Morra, Giovanna

In this article, I begin by considering ‘accented’ (Hamid Naficy) and autoethnographic film, video and installation practices, ie., work made by persons living in exile. I examine what is at stake in the intimate act of a daughter (the artist) visually and aurally translating her mother’s tongue (the linguistic formation of the daughter’s childhood and the language still spoken by her mother). I am specifically concerned with representations of psychical, geographic and linguistic displacements within these artistic practices as a means of understanding subject formation, gendered agency, and the politics and poetics of race and ethnicity.

During the past 10 years critical theories of translation have been used to discuss cultural practices within an international context. This issue of 'Journal of Visual Culture', co-edited with Mieke Bal, is the first to consider translation within the realm of the visual arts.

Working out of an interdisciplinary context, the contributions in this volume reconsider our understanding of medium, subjectivity, and nations as translative phenomenological, psychoanalytic, philosophical and postcolonial matters.

Type of Research:Article
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Giovanna Morra

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary art; psychoanalysis, autographic narratives, subjectivity, and intimacy; art-making, materiality, and the spaces of practice, critical theory; translation, transcultural aesthetics and

Current Research

My research interests are in modern and contemporary art; critical theory; psychoanalysis as a theory and practice; spaces of practice – specifically, the writer’s study, artist’s studio, gallery, and psychoanalytic consulting room; autographic narratives and subjectivity; translation and transcultural aesthetics; the question of materiality as its pertains to art-making.

I am presently working on a single-authored books entitled ‘Inside the Freud Museum: Contemporary Art and Psychoanalysis’. In it I consider debates opened up by the 50 contemporary art exhibitions held at the Museum over the past 25 years. I examine issues raised by the art, the museum and psychoanalysis, such as the site specific nature of the Museum; questions of archaeology, archives and antiquities; memory, migration and trauma; dreams, delusions, desire and death; and autobiography and the patient ‘case history’. I am particularly interested in the way these psychoanalytic issues are inflected and transformed by the artistic interventions in the Museum. The book also includes a chapter on the Vienna Freud Museum and the contemporary art collection housed and displayed there.

I have written on the work of many contemporary artists, including, Faisal Abdu' Allah, Chantal Akerman, William Cobbing, Tacita Dean, Mona Hatoum, Barbara Kruger, Susan pui san Lok, Adrian Piper, Elizabeth Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Mario Rossi, Pam Skelton, Emma Talbot, Erika Tan, and Chris Wainwright.

I have published on translation and the visual arts over many years. Beginning with a consideration of literary and Biblical narratives and their translation into visual arts practices (painting and drawing, for instance), I have recently extended this work into an interrogation of transcultural aesthetics, gender, and sexuality, wherein I have contemplated questions of intimacy, skin, diaspora and autographic narratives.

As a Founder and Principal Editor of the 'Journal of Visual Culture' (2000- onwards) and a Founder of the cultural theory journal 'Parallax' (Editor 1993-1998), I have been involved in provoking and establishing debates in critical theory and its relationship to a wide range of disciplines, from art history to gender studies, postcolonial theory, and cultural studies. These publications have also critically interrogated and simultaneously established visual culture studies as a new field of inquiry in the academy.

Your affiliations with UAL:Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Date:01 April 2007
Funders:Central Saint Martins Staff Development
Digital Object Identifier:10.1177/1470412907075071
Related Websites:http://www.journalofvisualculture.org
ID Code:896
Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 12:41
Last Modified:20 May 2010 14:54
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