ich muss mit ihnen sprechen

ICH MUSS MIT IHNEN SPRECHEN

(2015/2018)

Installation (monitor / projection, 30 text cards on 3 aluminium rails), dur. 1:35 min, HD colour and b/w, sound

Exhibition View: ich muss mit ihnen sprechen, Kerstin Honeit, 2018, Photo: Torsten Schmitt

The installation ich muss mit ihnen sprechen (I have to talk to you) is a constant raising and (re-)setting of the voice, which poses the question of speech acts and empowerment.

The starting point of the work is an artistic research on the politics of German film dubbing and, connected to this, an examination of the representation of ‚Blackness‘ and People of Color in German mainstream film and TV.

The background is the dubbing repertoire of the ‚white‘ German-speaking voice of Whoopi Goldberg, who has dubbed more than 40 other African-American and PoC actresses, thus representing a ‚white‘ idea of ‚black‘ voice. Stereotypical invocations, which are often already used on the visual filmic level, are then additionally manifested on the sound level of German-language film and TV adaptations.

Exhibition View / Detail: ich muss mit ihnen sprechen, Kerstin Honeit, 2018, Photo: Torsten Schmitt

The work picks up on the act of speaking itself through its archive-like sequence of the same voice speaking from different bodies. The various characters talk about the raising of the voice and become as a collective a chorus of protest of their own voicelessness. The 30 cards, arranged analogously in the order of the appearing actresses, contain both the translation of the individual sentences back into the English original as well as the naming of the respective US actress and the cinematic source of the scenes.

ich muss mit ihnen sprechen was part of Kerstin Honeit’s solo show Talking Business which premiered at the Berlin Art Week 2015, presented by cubus-m, Berlin. Further the work participated in the group show Throwing Gestures -The Entangelment between Gestures, Media & Politics 2018 in Berlin.

Exhibition View: ich muss mit ihnen sprechen, Kerstin Honeit, 2018, Photo: Torsten Schmitt