Displayed Words
Ingeborg Bachmann, Angélica Freitas, Hassan Khan, Otis Mensah, Rafael Moreno, Nazanin Noori, Nhã Thuyên, Kinga Tóth

Language, text, and poetry at Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten and online on displayedwords.org

Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten
Mathilde-Jacob-Platz 1
10551 Berlin
​(Google Maps)

U9 Turmstr.
M10 U Turmstr.
Bus 101, 123, 187,245, M27 U Turmstr.

Displayed Words is an experiment in thinking with language, text, and poetry through digital and public formats. Who and what defines the space in which words are made legible and meanings are produced? How does the perception of text change from one medium to another? Displayed Words plays with the intelligibility of text and its manifold displays; it also poses questions pertaining to context within which literature and poetry can be perceived and understood. Finally, it asks how text is mediated, and in which language dominant discourse and literature are communicated in a metropolitan like Berlin. What about languages considered minoritarian, those one hears across the city in everyday encounters, such as Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Vietnamese, or Spanish ...?

For its second edition, Displayed Words will take place at Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten, where texts are presented on a digital display panel on the balcony above the main entrance. The Rathaus is a site of bureaucracy pertaining to social existence that everyone will have to come across regardless of race, gender, class, religion, status, or background. The collaboration between CCA Berlin and Bezirksamt Mitte, in cooperation with the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, focuses on displaying poetry in such a public site and brings together a group of writers/artists whose practice oscillates between different fields.

These artists are working beyond conventional disciplinary borders, drawing from each medium’s specific formal characteristics, for an emancipated language to emerge. They invent new grammars and vocabularies, blending fiction with fact, poetry with politics, playing with words to create new ways of enunciating and imaging. At a time when identities are becoming more layered and meanings more fractured, the ambivalence of language as a well of resource nevertheless can generate infinite possibilities for new narratives to come.

The project also raises the question of translation, of the plurality of idioms, registers and lexicons that complicate our understanding of the world rather than reaffirm it. Displayed Words desires to refigure the relationship between writer and reader, and reflects on ways of inhabiting a living, vibrant and sometimes fragile language beyond the confines of book or page. We want to explore new ways of understanding poetry in relation to urban space, its realities, utopias and dreams, the speed at which it changes and evolves, sometimes also its mess and humdrum, and the multitude of encounters the city harbors within.

The display shows:

​15.12.2023–31.01.2024
Otis Mensah, Nhã Thuyên
01.02.–29.02.2024
Rafael Moreno, Kinga Tóth
01.03.–31.03.2024
Angélica Freitas, Ingeborg Bachmann
01.04.–30.04.2024
Nazanin Noori, Hassan Khan

 

The program will be accompanied by a series of readings.

14 March, 2024, 7 pm, daadgalerie
Reading with Nhã Thuyên and Angélica Freitas

26 March, 2024, 7 pm, Bärenzwinger
Reading with Kinga Tóth and Rafael Moreno

Supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt, project funds from Draussenstadt and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.

Nhã Thuyên, Displayed Words, Installation view, Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photo: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin

Rafael Moreno, Displayed Words, Installation view, Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photo: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin

Otis Mensah, Displayed Words, Installation view, Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photo: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin

Kinga Tóth, Displayed Words, Installation view, Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photo: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin