23 hours (with Lillian Fellmann) | 2005

 

“23 hours” is a duration piece that interrogates language as a place of limits and isolation. Two people tell each other the story of their lives. Willing to share but parted by a table, and separated by the fact that each of them speaks a language the other one does not understand. Two languages, two bodies, two sets of memories. Lillian Fellmann and José Carlos Teixeira talk to each other throughout the time span of 23 hours. Lillian uses her native language Swiss German, while José does the same by speaking Portuguese, his mother tongue. The two artists decline the foreclosed aspect of a 24h-rhythm choosing a more uncertain and unfinished structure. No specific rules are attached to this encounter, nothing is rehearsed. This project not only addresses issues of cultural and individual displacement, but also the possibilities of language as a signifying system, and the body as the first and last resort of communication. We meet, we try to understand, to be understood, and we leave, such is life.

 

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   josé carlos teixeira