The Room of the Spokesperson
With the spokesperson’s position comes a culmination of questions regarding the institution and its power. To enter the role of the spokesperson means to speak on behalf of others, to perform the public voice of an institution. The spokesperson lends her or his voice to a subject that, in a strict sense, is voiceless, that only exists through agency, or is scattered into many voices at once. It seems there is a double absence at work. As much as the spokesperson, in lending her or his voice, retreats as a person from the scene, the articulation issued is that of an absent subject as well. It’s the hermetically closed configuration—a chain of delegations—that assures the inaccessibility of an articulation while issuing it at the same time. The supplementary structure withdraws what the act of speech seems to present.
The FOI is concerned with approaching such institutional places out of an interest in the experiences conveyed in them. In the recent productions Dark Light and Public Voice, Darren Rhymes (Glasgow) assumed the role of spokesperson of the FOI, while Tanja Widmann (Vienna) reflected on a form of appearing within one’s own absence. What does it mean to assume the place of a public voice within the suggestions of the Faculty of Invisibility itself?”
On May 31, 2010 Sönke Hallmann and Inga Zimprich read fragments from the FOI’s correspondence during the last production and discussed these in relation to moments of the spokesperson at the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.
Inga ZIMPRICH (*1979) is an artist and curator living in Berlin. The space of speech in contemporary art institutions has played a key role in the predominantly collaborative works in which she takes part. Zimprich has been developing various curatorial and artistic productions in Ukraine since 2006 and collaborates closely with Sönke Hallmann (theory) and Paul Gangloff (design), among others.
Die Faculty of Invisibility was founded in 2006 as an institution that transgresses formats of public organization. In productions like The Speech, Communiqué, The Invitation and Resignation, the Faculty of Invisibility questions formats of public assembly.
Sönke HALLMANN studied literature and philosophy and deals particularly with the literary works of Franz Kafka and Heiner Müller and the theoretical scripts of Jaques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben. In 2006 Hallmann initiated the Department of Reading (DOR) which intervenes and edits online texts using wiki- and Skype-technology. The DOR focuses on the communal format of of reading as a cultural practice. Hallmann’s writing on notions of similarity, play and drama, gesture and memory have been published in magazines and elsewhere (Text-Revue, F.R. David, Geist Magazin).
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