Listening by Speaking to Oneself

“In The Politics of Translation Gayatri Spivak describes the difficulties of translation that arise when following rhetorical logics, often going at the cost of vital source information. To recover what gets lost – the information that might not be considered meaningful outside the space of standardized language –, she calls for love and affinity to the text by the translator whose agency is to uncover the limits of language. Xiri Tara Noir might well be the sort of translator Spivak calls for. Departing from an activist purview and taking Erin Manning’s concept of The Minor Gesture as a guiding thread, Xiri Tara Noir’s research centers on how particular gestures are captured and interpreted by groups of women with different backgrounds and worldviews. Across different groups, however, misunderstandings are likely to emerge due to factors of circumstance and prejudice. Xiri Tara Noir uses transcriptions not as a tool to translate what has been said exactly, but how it has been said by returning what gets lost into the realm of the perceptible through amplification. Through a legend of cues – an emotional map of sorts – a reenactment of conversations becomes possible, reconfiguring the field of relations and enabling the appreciation of value systems that are not ours.”


– from “No Communication without Noise”
curated by Laura Herman



Listening by Speaking to Oneself is a practice of relational encounters.

By drawing attention to the in-between moment in a conversation, it investigates if it is possible to ‘extend’ or ‘amplify’ ‘the-not-yet-become’ moment of encounter.

It investigates if intimate relations between individuals could evolve from one environment to another, and create a feeling of collectivity across different communities. Could re-enactments enable us to become more vulnerable to ourselves, but also feel in alliance with what we normally would experience as foreign?

Through transcriptions of conversations between one group of womxn (x), and re-enactment of the transcription performed by another group of womxn* (y), and vice versa, the work wish to investigate whether an imaginary constellation of different people or communities could occur.

In this in-between space between the words of the speaker and the interpreter, the work asks: might there be a recognition of the self in the other through the re-enactment of words?

The work wish to create the conditions for a hearing of what is often left unheard, and because of that often makes us unable to give it value.


* When we talk about women it often tend to be the white middle class woman. So by naming the word women, it is important to also talk about black women, women without papers, trans women, and sex workers. All those who have to struggle for recognition and survival, but who are also the experts in imagining a different social landscape, and to whom there is a lot to listen and learn from. In this research there is a specific focus on sex workers, as I see them as relational experts who generates a lot of knowledge when it comes to relational practices. And because I believe that sex work is art… the art of touching people.



Concept and idea: Xiri Tara Noir
Graphic Design: Luiza Crosman
Outside Eyes: Erin Manning and Lizzie Borden


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