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What Would You Hear If You Could?
#8: Against This Earth, We Knock

Old pots (collected in JiangYong),
coal ashes (collected in JiangYong),
resin, mechanical installation

Grandma He, the only living heir of Nüshu (women’s script), recalled her grandma saying, “Nüshu are stars weeping in the night sky.” Without access to formal schooling, nüshu is a secret language of confession and communication between women, often written with branches and ashes, destroyed before discovery by men. Nüshu is thus a text of which its survival hinges upon its destruction.

In this installation, the voices collected from women in various states of dislocation around the world creates a collective, poetic soundscape. Each chain of “text” is the secret of one woman, listened to and sculpted in collaboration with Grandma He and Hu Xin, the youngest ambassador of the text. The pots and ashes in the installation are collected from Jiang Yong, the village of origin for the script. “Against this earth, we knock” is a quote from Xu’s poetry—while knocking is inherently an act of worship, it is also a way of expressing the unspeakable through our bodies.

Here, against this earth, the women collectively knock.
A collective poem is born.

该装置收集了来自世界各地,处于不同状态女性的声音,旨在创造一个女性集体音景。装置中的锅与碳灰收集于江永女书村,每串“女书”都源自一位女人的倾诉,与女书传人何艳新奶奶与胡欣共创而成。“面向大地,我们叩击” 摘自艺术家的一句诗歌——叩击本身是祈祷的行为,但也是一种通过身体来表达不可言说之物的方式。在这里,面向大地,女人们集体叩击。

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