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Wu Tsang

The Shape of a Right Statement

August 1, 2020
–August 14, 2020

Wu Tsang, The Shape of a Right Statement, 2008, HD Video with stereo sound, 5′00″. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabelle Bortolozzi, Berlin.

Staring directly at the camera, Tsang re-performs one section of “In My Language,” a forceful YouTube manifesto by autism rights activist Amanda Baggs. Tsang’s powerful interpretation was staged at The Silver Platter, home to the club Wildness, following a year in which the artist had presented live performances of the Baggs text. Tsang mimetically reproduces the voice of Baggs’s Speech Generation Device, stating, “It is only when I type something in your language that you refer to me as having communication.”

Recommended Age: Grade 6 and up

  • What do you think the title of the work, The Shape of a Right Statement, means?
  • In the film, Tsang re-performs the text from Amanda Baggs’ manifesto In My Language, “mimetically reproducing” the voice of Baggs’ Speech Generation Device.
    • Why do you think Tsang chose to perform the piece in this way?
  • How does this work make you think about communication, and how we choose to communicate with others? Does it give you a new perspective on persons who communicate in ways other than spoken language?
  • If you could ask the artist a question about the piece, what would you like to know?

Past Shift Key Programmes

A still from Cecilia Vicuña "Paracas" (1983)
Cecilia Vicuña
Paracas
A Still from Cauleen Smith "Pilgrim" (2017)
Cauleen Smith
Pilgrim
Mona Hatoum
Roadworks
Aura Satz
Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road)