Translating Worlds is a collective contemporary art exhibition produced as a part of the Retracing Connections research programme. The research programme examines how stories that traveled between four medieval languages created a common narrative universe in and around the Byzantine Empire.
Taking this programme’s interest in storytelling and translation as its basis, the exhibition aims to bring together contemporary artists’ diverse approaches to different facets of translation, cultural transmission and storytelling.
What did translation mean a millennium ago? What made people translate certain stories more than others? What happens to a story when it travels between languages? How did the common narrative universe created by storytellers that do not share a common tongue affect their lives and practices? These are the questions that the Retracing Connections researchers and the Translating Worlds artist each respond in their unique way.
The visual artists participating in the exhibition deal with subjects such as multilingualism, diasporicity and migration experiences, the liminal figure of the translator, coloniality, borderland identity, linguistic hospitality, translation as a collective and prismatic practice, the materiality and impossibility of translation. Combining medieval stories with these concepts from translation studies provided by researchers, the commissioned artists are invited to explore the links between translation, cultural transmission and storytelling. The same concepts and narratives are used to re-frame the existing works and establish a trans-temporal and trans-medial dialogue.
Combining medieval narratives with these concepts from translation studies, provided by Retracing Connections programme members, the commissioned artists are invited to explore the links between translation, cultural transmission and storytelling. The same concepts and narratives are used to re-frame the existing works and establish a trans-temporal and trans-medial dialogue.
The authors of the exhibition aim to create links between academic research, artistic production and civic engagement by connecting past and present experiences of translation, multilingualism and traveling narratives.