Voicings addresses the potential violence that is present in everyday speech when the subject is not a native speaker and has not chosen to emigrate to a foreign country, like a refugee. Two groups of people come together. A group of refugees are asked to write an account of their language difficulties when they first arrived in the UK, a group of white classically trained British actors are asked to learn the text on camera. They must perform it convincingly, impeccably but they must retain the spelling and grammatical mistakes present in the texts. Voicings uses digital video in connection with a practice that deconstructs performance and agency in speech in order to re-configure power and agency in the utterance. When the public experiences Voicings they are forced to question 'who is speaking to whom' thus flagging out the socio-political implications of speech and speech representation.
Laura Malacart is a visual artist based in London and currently completing an AHRC funded doctoral research at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Her research addresses power and agency in voice representation using the metaphor of ventriloquism to elaborate on its artificious nature. Voicings is a multichannel video installation that addresses the potential violence in social interactions caused by articulacy or lack of in a lingua franca. For more information on Voicings see www.lauramalacart.org.uk - for an overview of Laura Malacart's projects see www.lauramalacart.info