For her first solo exhibition in Portugal, Belgian visual artist Ana Torfs brings together four installations under the equivocal title Echolalia. The English term ‘echolalia’ refers to the repetition of speech (parroting) by a child learning to talk, but it also describes a medical condition that makes someone compulsively repeat words and sentences said by other people.
Since the early 1990s, Ana Torfs has been composing a unique, visually striking oeuvre, which is marked by the worlds unfolded by words, whether it is the travel diary of Christopher Columbus (in The Parrot & the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria,) the official Latin names of twenty-five plants (in Family Plot), a series of six loanwords (in TXT, Engine of Wandering Words), or the common names of twenty synthetic dyes (in […] STAIN […]).
The exhibition title, Echolalia, hints at the connections that resound between the exhibited works. Moreover, the range of reproducible media that Torfs turns to, ranging from sound, video, photographs, and slide projections to silk-screen prints and tapestries, is remarkably broad. In the end we only perceive echoes of the original source: playful and poetic transpositions and translations from language or text to image and vice versa, rendering displacements of meaning and interpretation.
In her work Ana Torfs analytically and metaphorically addresses fundamental questions of representation and its narrative structures. In the installations that make up Echolalia, an archaeology of knowledge plays a crucial role: how things are named and described so that you can get hold of them, and how during their transmission new constellations of word, image and sound arise all the time.
Matters and materials handed down from the past, which Torfs draws on in her erudite quest, are rendered meaningful over and again in a never-ending attempt to grasp the complexity of things – in the course of which any system or order is ultimately revealed to be an illusion.
Ana Torfs (b. 1963, lives and works in Brussels) has participated in numerous important group exhibitions including Parasophia, Kyoto (2015), Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013), Manifesta 9 Genk, Belgium (2012), Montreal Biennial 2 (2000), and Lyon Biennal 3 (1995). Solo exhibitions include WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels (2014) Generali Foundation in Vienna (2010), K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf (2010), Sprengel Museum in Hannover (2008), argos centre for art and media in Brussels (2007), daadgalerie, Berlin (2006), GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen (2006), and Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels (2000).
Ana Torfs: Echolalia is organized in collaboration with WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. Curated by Caroline Dumalin.
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.