The Promise and Compromise of Translation’ investigates the concept and practice of translation in artistic practices across the Nordic region. The exhibition brings together six women artists based in Denmark, Norway and Sweden who insist on the relevance of translation to articulate histories and reflect on patterns of cultural exchange and the experience of diaspora.
Considering the possibilities and implications of translation as a condition, as a political act and a tool for understanding, the artists navigate a multiplicity of meanings and perspectives that undermine conventional constructs of translation as equivalence of fixed meanings.
The exhibition title is drawn from a reading group, led by German-Palestinian philosopher Sami Khatib at the Academy of Art, Oslo in 2016, which traversed Walter Benjamin’s core writings on translation. The exhibition transposes notions developed by Khatib to situate translation as a medium, constituted by a network of histories, intentions and subjectives, through a range of media and perspectives.