Faculty of Invisibility
at Transmission Gallery Glasgow

Friday 14 May 2010, 8 pm

A closing event on questions of diplomacy and speech

with Sönke Hallmann, Inga Zimprich, Dagmar Reichert, Kerstin Meyer.

Contributing in writing: Maaike Engelen, Tanja Widmann

Spokesperson: Darren Rhymes

None of these figures has a firm place in the world, or firm, inalienable outlines. There is not one that is not either rising or falling, none that is not trading its qualities with its enemy or neighbor, none that is not deeply exhausted and yet is only at the beginning of a long duration.
(Walter Benjamin)

Within the spokesperson a place comes into sight, in which many questions of the institution and its power culminate. The Faculty of Invisibility is concerned with approaching such places out of an interest in the experiences conveyed in them. But in addressing these places of speech it neither simply aims at disclosing something that has been concealed, nor does it rest in acknowledging the shapes of an as such inaccessible place. The Faculty of Invisibility rather tries to engage in making the place this figure occupies in language available.

To enter the role of the spokesperson means to speak on behalf of others, to perform the public voice of an institution. The spokesperson lends her or his voice to a subject that, in a strict sense, is voiceless, that only exists through agency, or that is scattered into many voices at once. It seems as if there is a double absence at work. As much as the spokesperson in lending her or his voice retreats as a person from the scene, the articulation issued is that of an absent subject as well.

It's the hermetically closed configuration, a chain of delegations, that assures the inaccessibility of an articulation, while issuing it at the same time. The supplementary structure withdraws, what the act of speech seems to present. It's a ceaseless suite of rooms in language. Alike the voiceless voice, audible in train stations, or the monotone voice of the UN-spokesperson treating almost every word the same.

For a moment the image of a chorus of voices appears, announcing, while being averted. What are the voices like that form the current paradigms of speech? What is the image that allows us to think articulation today? Which motion could come forth from the gap that shines up in the position of the spokesperson, tight between the one and the many in the realm of articulation?

The Faculty of Invisibility would like to welcome you to an evening of statements and conversations issued around the empty place of the spokesperson, as a place in language that conveys aspects of the diplomatic and institutional realm.

the Faculty of Invisibility