Dianne Pierce - Stammer and Rustle and Other Word Games

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 to Friday, January 9, 2009

The notion of silencing has led me to look at language and its supposed authority. In the most recent work, I focus on language as a structure determining inclusion or exclusion of a given group, be it religion, culture, race, gender, politics or sexual orientation. Mikhail Bakhtin and Julia Kristeva’s work on rupturing linguistic code via dialogism and intertextuality, respectively, has come to interest me, and the pieces I have been working on endeavor to question the authority of language via laughter. Bakhtin proposes ‘turning the world upside down’ as a way for the dominated to respond to the dominating, and laughter is just the vehicle for this. In particular, I am interested in carnivalesque environments where outsiders, freaks and entertainers meet and contradict each other, offering the possibility of difference and change by questioning, challenging or undermining official culture. Dianne Pierce