Opening | “Nervous Systems – Languages of Wonder & Denial”, with Cinthia Marcelle

(Aarhus, Denmark)

“Nervous Systems – Languages of Wonder & Denial” brings together historical and contemporary works which experiment with, and enact scenarios for what a restless and evolving language might look and sound like. The exhibition includes new and existing works by artists, performers, musicians and writers seeking to destabilise the rigidities of grammar, whilst subverting ideological and moral conventions. Through an ongoing engagement with performativity, their practices turn to languages in the threshold – languages that evolve and mutate in a continuous state of becoming.

British composer and activist Cornelius Cardew and American radical writer and poet Kathy Acker’s experiments with language serve as two key notes for “nervous systems”, a term which functions as a double play: referring to languages as connective structures with a restless desire to push beyond and to society as a “nervous system” in which individual and collective rhythms and desires co-exist.

The exhibition includes Cardew’s Treatise (1963-67), a 193-page graphic score, to be collectively performed yet with full interpretative scope, and Acker’s 10-point manifesto Languages of the Body (1990), which outlines an embodied and irreverent relationship with language. Acker and Cardew’s practices operated in different communities, yet insisted on and put to work the productive tensions between hyper-subjective readings and shared rationalities.

Providing a soundtrack of sorts to the exhibition is a video work by Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado’s “O Século” [“The Century”], in which objects are choreographed in a falling and colliding sequence, evoking a language
of protest or breakdown.

Featured artists: Kathy Acker, Sif Ankergard, Cornelius Cardew, Alex Cecchetti, Patrick Coyle, Natascha Sads Haghighian, Cinthia Marcelle + Tiago Mata Machado, Atalia Ten Brink, Wu Tsang

Exhibition programme:
Opening night 27 June: will feature two performances by the artists Alex Cecchetti (IT) and Patrick Coyle (UK). Performances start at 5pm.
Saturday 28 June at 11-12pm: Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz and Fatima Hellberg will give a curators’ talk with special guided tour of the exhibition.

“Nervous Systems – Languages of Wonder & Denial”, group exhibition with Cinthia Marcelle
On view through 27th August
Visiting: Tues-Fri, 10am-5pm; Wed, 10am-9pm; Sat-Sun, 12am-5pm

Kunsthal Aarhus
JM Morks Gade 13
3000, Aarhus C

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