Stidworthy, Imogen
Filmed in two Liverpool pubs, Imogen Stidworthy’s Barrabackslarrabang features individuals speaking in a local form of backslang. Traditionally, blackslang – which consists of the insertion of extra vowels and syllables into ordinary speech – was used to obscure discussion about illegal activity. As Stidworthy comments, this language repels and alienates all but those ‘in the know’. Stidworthy’s complex videos, sound works and installations treat the voice as a sculptural material, and explore the points at which language and other forms of communication collapse and become meaningless. She states: ‘I think one of the ongoing conditions of language in many of my works is that there is a very ambiguous, very unstable status in terms of the idea that it can carry meaning, or the kinds of meaning that it does carry.’
  • Artwork Details: running time: 9 minutes 13seconds
  • Edition: 1 of 5 + 2 AP
  • Material description: 9”13, HD video (1920×1080), colour, stereo, English/Backslang
  • Credit line: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC23/2014



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