Artists Aliyah Hussain and Anna Bunting-Branch collaborate for the first time during their residency at Bergen Kunsthall.
Their shared interest in feminist science fiction and its proposals for different ways of communicating and organising society forms the foundation for a new audio-visual commission. Their individual practices in experimental music composition, writing and animation are informed by explorations into parallel worlds, alien encounters and how narratives, histories and visions of the future are constructed.
Their project Potential Wor(l)ds is inspired by their research into the language Láadan, created by linguist and science fiction writer Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. Beginning with a public workshop at Bergen Kunsthall’s one-day music and performance festival POEKHALI! (18. August 2018), Potential Wor(l)ds explores the possibility of moving from traditional modes of communication (using a dominant language like English) to more experimental, collaborative forms of expression.
At POEKHALI!, Hussain and Bunting-Branch also present new individual works. Bunting-Branch presents her animation “Well-come Time Travellor”, which draws inspiration from Joanna Russ’s novel “Bodies” (1984), a contemplative story that reflects on questions of identity and community. Hussain performs a live set of her recent composition “Woman on the Edge of Time”, which takes the audience on a journey through the 1976 novel by Marge Piercy, using contact mics, ceramic instruments, synth and voice.
Part of ‘Who’s doing the washing up?’ – a programme of live commissions in 2018 at Bergen Kunsthall exploring feminist organisational practices and modes of communication – and the structures that support these. The title of the series is used to address questions that often go unmentioned when thinking of possible futures: Who has a voice in these futures? Who’s doing the work to sustain them? What types of work are valued? And what happens when imagining new ways of organising begins with these questions?
Photo: Bergen Kunsthall