VISUAL ART INSTALLATION // By Paean Sarkar
Presented by Metro Arts
Technology isn’t always perfect, especially when it comes to auto-generated text, but Paean Sarkar is putting Microsoft Word’s ‘dictate’ function to the test.
Transliteration is a series of nonsensical ‘lyrics videos’ that accompany Paean Sarkar’s song renditions of several celebrated works by Bengali poet, writer and composer Rabindranath Tagore. The lyrics are produced by speaking the original Bengali lyrics into Microsoft Word’s ‘dictate’ function set to ‘English (Australia)’. The resulting text is a nonsensical stream of random english words that brings neither clarity or meaning to Tagore’s lyrics.
This incomprehensible translation explores Sarkar’s relationship to language, specifically Bengali (her mother tongue) and English (her current dominant speaking language) as a 2nd generation immigrant. Tagore is crucial to this work, due to both his influence globally and within the Bengali lexicon. His work, juxtaposed by the process of the Transliteration series, comically exaggerates the dissonance that can occur in the exchange between two languages. This artwork does not intend to disrespect Tagore, but instead hopes to start a critical dialogue around the cultural disconnect of being a bi-lingual Australian.
Thu 8 – Sun 11 Apr
Metro Arts, West End
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