Mesopotamian Dramaturgies / English As A Second Language


Lentos Art Museum, Linz, Austria, 2009

Commissioned by:
Francesca Minini, Milan, Italy
Vehbi Koc Foundation, Turkey

English As A Second Language features two Turkish youths reading nonsensical poetry based on the English alphabet by Edward Lear, the English artist, illustrator and writer known for his nonsense poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularised. The youths face the double burden of not just having to learn a foreign language, English, now commonly accepted as the standardized tool of survival in the globalized realm, but also of the nonsensical nature of the text’s content. The installation consists of two screens, each featuring a youth struggling to read from sheets of paper. The screens face each other, hence further confusing the role of the teacher and the student.

This piece is shot at the same location as the artist’s performance Strange Space, a patch of land in eastern Turkey turned into desert by sulfurous debris.