Speechless is an interdisciplinary exhibition of new work by artists Madeline Bishop, Zoya Godoroja-Prieckerts and Claire Capel-Stanley. Working across installation, multimedia and works on paper; each artist begins with the personal, investigating the politics of voice, intimacy and trauma.
What does ‘speechless’ mean? The idea refers not to a lack of words, but a condition beyond words, as though emotion has driven conventional communication out of the way. It reflects that some things cannot – or, perhaps, should not – be said. Susan Sontag said that words are like a doorway. Some ideas, like big pieces of furniture, just won’t fit through.
These works are about what we do when words overwhelm us, tie us up, fail us, trip us up, and won’t forgive us. They are about the failure, and the necessity, of communication.
Madeline Bishop’s work investigates the words that are uncomfortable to speak, focussing on group dynamics, where echoing opinions are hidden under the guise of discussion or real consultation. Destructive ideas are reinforced, and a futile, well-trodden path emerges. Zoya Godoroja-Prieckearts’ series of drawings explores the removal of voice, her mute, headless bodies caught in silence and distress – or perhaps they are listening. Claire Capel-Stanley’s work is about trauma and resilience. It is a refuge made from the loud silence of nothing on paper. The work is marked by disaster, but even in its fragility, provides shelter from the storm.