Universal Languages – SOLUNA 2018

As part of the annual SOLUNA festival, on Sunday, May 13, experience a work of art combining visual and musical elements. Inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Argentinian artist Lihuel Gonzalez’s Las personas no van juntas (They Just Don’t Match) examines the efficacy of translation between languages and between language and music and features Dallas Symphony cellist Jeffrey Hood.

Lihuel Gonzalez, Las personas no van juntas (They Just Don’t Match), 2016, video installation and musical activation, 8 minutes. [image source: lihuelgonzalez.com].

In Las personas no van juntas, González gets at the heart of the difficulty of communication. This is true on a much broader, universal level, but it is particularly germane to the subject of González’s work: the arts and philosophy. This video installation and performance enacts how art is almost always experienced after being subjected to layers of translation. Films or literature or libretti are translated from one language to another so that audiences around the world can access them. And written or spoken interpretation often accompanies visual art or music (as is the case in this very text). In this work, monitors show a speech being simultaneously translated from one language to another, almost like a game of telephone, before a musical composition created of that speech by a computer is played on stage by a cellist. Whew, you might think, I’m lost. Luckily, as González shows us, gesticulations and facial expressions bridge cultures, as does art, which at the end of the day, is one of the true universal languages.

Las personas no van juntas (Activación N2) from Lihuel González on Vimeo

Anna Katherine Brodbeck is The Nancy and Tim Hanley Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the DMA.


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