• Meredith Monk 16 Millimeter Earrings 1966

    Meredith Monk
    16 Millimeter Earrings 1966

    © Courtesy: Meredith Monk / the House Foundation for the Arts

The Voice Is A Language is a live performance and screening project orbits the legacy of avant-garde pioneer Meredith Monk, casting her as an active player within a range of dynamic contemporary practices. Exploring the dispersal of the voice and its relationship to image by assembling a collage of performance, music, video and spoken word, The Voice Is A Language traces sympathetic lines of working between the practices of four contemporary artists: Sophie Macpherson, James Richards, Cara Tolmie, Sue Tompkins and includes rarely seen film and video by Meredith Monk as a touchstone to the other artists’ work.

The screening programme includes rarely seen films by Meredith Monk, 16 mm Earrings (1966/77) and Turtle Dreams (1984);  Sophie Macpherson’s Deep Dancing (2010), commissioned specially for the project and James Richards’ Looking So Hard At Something It Distorts Or Becomes Obscured (Not Blacking Out, Just Turning The Lights Off ) (2012) in a new edit. These moving image works are complemented by live performances from Cara Tolmie and Sue Tompkins: Tolmie will perform The end is a tumultuous noise (2010/12), also specially commissioned for the original programme, and Sue Tompkins will premiere as a performance her sound piece My Dataday (2010/12).

An online reader for the project, which includes essays, sound clips, documentation and other information can be found at voiceisalanguage.wordpress.com.

The Voice Is A Language is a project by Isla Leaver-Yap.

Tate Film presents inspiring films, videos, installations and performances made by artists and filmmakers who seek to challenge the conventions of the moving image. See the full Tate Film programme.