call for proposals

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Queering Yerevan Open Call for Proposals 2010

The Women Oriented Women’s collective is pleased to announce its Summer 2010 open call for proposals.  Individual and collaborating artists are welcome to submit proposals for work that engages with the theme of this year’s art intervention.

July 31 – August 1, 2010

Zarubyan 34, Yerevan

Contact: Arpi Adamyan
queeringyerevan@gmail.com

QUEERING TRANSLATION: AN ART INTERVENTION
 
Translation looms large among the cultural practices that at once join and separate us.  We use intralingual translation to interpret verbal signs by means of other signs of the same language, we depend on interlingual translation to interpret the verbal signs of a foreign language, and we rely on intersemiotic translation to interpret verbal signs using signs of nonverbal sign systems.  And yet, while other reflexes of thought are interrogated and revealed as situated knowledge, the assumption that cultural differences are bridged easily and transparently remains undisturbed.  How can we critically engage with and pay more attention to the processes of such bridging?  How can we problematize conceptions that render translation as objective and value-free?  The effects of translation are felt both in the domestic and the foreign cultures, as, on the one hand, translation wields enormous power in the construction and representation of foreign entity, and on the other hand, translation enlists the foreign text in the development and revision of domestic values.
 
Because meaning is an effect of relations and differences among signifiers along a potentially endless chain in the Derridean sense, it is always differential and deferred, never present as an original unity.  As a result, a translated text (cultural artifact) is the site of many different semantic possibilities that are fixed only provisionally in a certain translation based on varying cultural assumptions and interpretive choices, in specific social situations, in different historical periods.
 
Situating our inquiry in the crossings of the dominant post-Soviet culture in Armenia, queer spaces, and translation as a mode of subversion, we propose an examination of “foreign” or “queer” texts and cultural objects that violate, disrupt and revise dominant conceptual paradigms, research methodologies, and cultural practices in the parameters of the familiar, at home.  Coming from a slightly different angle, translation as a method of defamiliarization can be compared to the Butlerian conception of drag, which in its performativity complicates, parodies, and denaturalizes “reality” and its norms that standardize gender and sexuality.  The purpose of such translation is to expose that what we come to understand to be “real,” “original,” or naturalized is, in fact, a changeable and revisable reality.
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