Translation as art practice

17th of December 2020
Chair Dr. Sebastian Hegarty with India Lawton


15:45 – 15:55 and 5min Q and A

“READING… entre les lignes”
Ingrid Cogne

“READING… entre les lignes” wants to write a story of re/presentation(s) and projection(s)—in resonance to the title of the conference and in dialogue with my work and arts-based researches—by putting at play the notions of “filter”, “articulation”, and “displacement” in relation to (more or less poetic) “translations” both the author and the spectator perform through the medium of an artwork. 

“READING… entre les lignes”approaches “reading” as a method of translation, and “entre les lignes” (in between the lines) as a poetic space. “READING… entre les lignes” accepts the freedom of the “reader”—the one encountering the artwork (be it verbal or material) proposed by an author (artist, writer, or researcher)—as well as her position of “filter”. 

Roland Barthes (Hawkes 1977, pp. 154–5) has pointed out that any interpretation of a text has to move outside the text so as to refer to the reader: the text has no meaning until someone reads it, and to make sense it must be interpreted, which is to say related to the reader’s world —which is not to say read whimsically or with no reference to the writer’s world. One might describe the situation this way: since any given time is situated in the totality of all time, a text, deposited by its author in a given time, is ipso facto related to all times, having implications which can be unfolded only with the passage of time, inaccessible to the consciousness of the author or author’s coevals, though not necessarily absent from their subconscious.”[1]

The reader is a central actor of the triangle Artist-Artwork-Spectator. She is the one performing the poetic translations when filtering an artwork. Building on her perception, intuition, and background, she is the one translating what is proposed. She is the one expanding the contents of the artwork into a personal re-articulation: “’in another language, the aesthetic information will be different’ (Bense). The transfers made must therefore be understood as creative and critical events that can create new perspectives on the source”.[1]

My work addresses physical and mental movements. “I rely upon this and accept the joy of this game! I invite you to translate”[2] two artworks:

WORK (2015)—an immaterial triptych that manifests itself with a booklet that hides and reveals information and points of references to read an architecture and envision my proposal. WORK cannot exist without someone projecting it.

Moment(s) of (2018)—a booklet that invites the reader to creates her “own” articulation in space, navigating between contents put at play in a set of 38 cards.

[1] p.128, J. Olsson, ”In the beginning was translation”: on Noigandres Etc., in Translability, S. Arrhenius, M. Bergh, C. Sjöholm, Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2011

[2] This quote is extracted from an introduction-letter I wrote to the reader(s). pp.6-9, I. Cogne, Displacement(s) as Method(s), 2015

[1] pp. 158–159, Walter J. Ong, Orality and Literacy. The Technologizing of the Word, First published in 1982 by Methuen & Co. Ltd, 2002 Routledge. Toylor & Francis Group.

Ingrid Cogne (1977, Dijon, FR) is an artist, facilitator, and scholar working across choreography, visual arts and academia.

Cogne conceptualizes artworks in the form of sculptural articulated objects in movement (such as Platform, 2018, and Object of Communication, 2018), expanded choreographies (such as WORK, 2015 and SPELLS, since 2009), and artistic researches (such as forskning, 2008-12, and Kunskap i Rörelse, 2015-16)— be it alone or in collaboration.

Cogne uses choreography as a way to create movement and suspension, circulation and time, positioning and displacement in relation to Economy, Knowledge, Work, and Individuals. Her work problematizes the dramaturgy of (existing or created) situations. With soft provocation for movement in representations and structures, Cogne likes to—slowly, progressively—shake and shift perceptions, projections, and perspectives.

Since 2007, Cogne contributes to peers’ projects as dramaturge or performer, and in 2014 she was artistic director of Dansbyrån (Gothenburg, SE). She is also editor and co-author of the publications Dansbaren—The Mob without Flash (2016) and For and By Six Formats (2018).

Her latest exhibitions are the kinetic sculpture Pas le temps d’être triste, in collaboration with Paul Leitner and Valère Costes (December 2019, Memphis, Linz) and the exhibition Schallwirkungen auf Mensch und Tier (July 2016, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna).

The arts-based research projects she initiated are:
The dramaturgy of Conversation (in progress, Elise Richter PEEK fellowship); Six Formats (2015-18, FWF, PEEK); Displacement(s) as Method(s) (2011-15, PhD research project AKBILD / CEAC Lille 3). It is in the latter that Cogne articulated a discursive practice of her work by using the notions “situation”, “presence”, and “performativity” as filters to unfold her research between body, spoken, and written languages in a matrix com-posed of five methods, three practices, and the art piece WORK (2015).

16:00 – 16:10 and 5min Q and A

A Translational Enterprise of an Inter-Species Poetic Exchange at a Fictitious Museum
Hannah Bruckmüller, Noa Ginzburg and Michal B. Ron

“This is an interview, recorded at the Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, 12 Burgplatz Düsseldorf” announces the interviewer

“MIAOW! MIAOW!” replies the interviewee.

“CatChat” is a translation, phonetic transcription, and interpretation of Marcel Broodthaers’ Interview with a Cat (1970) into French, Cat, English, German, and Hebrew, accompanied with thoughts about listening, or failing to hear, responding, or failing to answer, and how languages differ and construct agency.

One conversation opens another.

The beginning: in 1970 the Belgian artist and former poet Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) conducted and recorded an interview with a cat. At the time, he was the self-announced director of a fictitious museum: The Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (1968-1972).

“Is that a good painting? […]” asks Broodthaers.
“Miaow,” replies Cat.

The art-historical discourse mainly focuses on his, the artist’s, words. But actually, the cat is the main protagonist: the interviewee.

A second beginning: from an edited tape-recorded interview, an online ongoing chat develops. CatChat sets out for Deep Listening and proceeds to Deep Reading: to re-listen attentively, aligning the two parties together in a shared script, transcribing the conversation between Broodthaers and Cat anew. Our
unprecedented endeavor is mirrored in its typographic layout, taking the form of a Talmudic page: in its center, the dialogue, phonetically transliterated from utterances in French and Cat tongues into Hebrew and Latin letters. It proposes Deep Reading: the surrounding interpretation and discussion tackle questions of ipseity and anthropocentrism, gender, voice, legibility, and translation.

Our paper will reflect on the ambitions and collaborative intentions of our project, and the current state of our enterprises: translating recorded audio into printed letters, handling missing details in elaborating supplementary associations, when the unity of time and space disperse into different locations and temporalities with altered artistic and philosophical gestures. Each author – an installation artist, an art historian, a theoretician – will contribute her voice in a discussion about translational poetics in transatlantic, transhistorical, and transdisciplinary conditions. We will performatively translate the loud exchange of Broodthaers and the Cat, to open another, polyvocal conversation with the audience.

“CatChat” was published in Protocols, issue #6: tongues (January 2020), online:

Dr. in phil. Michal B. Ron is a Berlin-based independent art historian and theoretician, specializing in temporality in contemporary art and culture. She holds a BA in art history and philosophy and an MA in art history from the University of Haifa, Israel. She gained her Ph.D. in art history from the Freie
Universität Berlin with her dissertation History in the Room of the Parrot, on historical critique, animals, and children in the work of Marcel Broodthaers. Ron participated in international academic conferences and workshops, among others at the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of Oxford. She gave
presentations at Hunter College, New York, M HKA, Antwerp, K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and Garage, Moscow. Ron taught at Humboldt University and the Berlin University of the Arts. She regularly contributes to emerging magazines such as Counter-Signals
and TOHU, and institutional and independent publications in Europe, the Middle East, China, and Indonesia.

Dr. in Hannah Bruckmüller is an art historian and author based in Vienna, Austria. Her PhD-project at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna focused on the printed letter as material for publicity in the practice of Marcel Broodthaers. She contributed entries to several books and exhibition catalogues, as well as an
essay to the peer-reviewed journal Platform. Her reviews appeared in the trilingual online art magazine TOHU ( Currently, she is editing the peer-reviewed article Marcel Broodthaers, poet in the Pop Trap. Archival Notes on an artist’s narrative, which presents the archival findings of her PhD-project in English and is scheduled for publication in the Oxford Art Journal in 2021. Furthermore, she is working on the book-manuscript of her PhD-project in German, which is scheduled for Spring 2022 with the publishing house sonderzahl.

Noa Ginzburg is an installation artist working and living in New York. She received her BSc (Medical and Life Sciences) from Tel Aviv University in 2008 and BFA (Multi-Disciplinary Arts) from Shenkar College in 2012. She is a recent alumnus (2019) of the MFA Studio Art program at Hunter College in New York. During her candidacy, she received a CUNY graduate travel award and the UJA Nerken Scholarship. Ginzburg is a laureate of the UNESCO-Aschberg residency program (2014) and had received grants and accolades from Patreon, Art-bridge, Artis, Alma Culture Fellowship, and Asylum Arts, among others. Noa Ginzburg has shown in solo, collective, and group exhibitions in Tel Aviv,
Medellin, and New York. Her work was published in catalogues and reviewed in Magazines like Lumpen, Erev Rav, Art Spiel, WhiteHot, and Elephant.

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