Hannah Dawn Henderson

Project: As a vessel is known by its sound...

‘As a vessel is know by its sound…’ considers the sensation of speechlessness, both in a literal and expanded sense. Making a subversive reference to the classical orator Demosthenes, the film presents a performative gesture that seeks to challenges the assumed authority of spoken language, whilst equally confronting the possibility that once one has inherited language it is impossible to wander beyond it, remaining always in its periphery, even when babbling. The work also examines the tension between language, voice and the body, posing ultimately the question of whether these elements can be separated.

Thesis: Locating the generic in the realm of the unique: A study on the interplay of language and empathy in artistic modalities

‘…The first ears that listen to us are not the ears of others but our own.’ Giovanni Gentile, cited by Adriana Cavarero. Departing from this quote, this thesis examines the functionality of performative language within the context of artistic production. Analysing works by artists such as Nauman, Jarman and Emin, the thesis contemplates how artworks confront notions of self and otherness, as well as how the narrative mechanics of such work elicits the reaction of empathy.