Cooper Gallery DJCAD

Men Gather in Speech

Various Artists
Men Gather in Speech, Invitation ,


Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design University of Dundee Perth Road Dundee Scotland DD1 4HT




Abri de Swardt, Emma Charles and Rose English at Cooper Gallery DJCAD

Cooper Gallery, DJCAD are pleased to present our first exhibition of 2015, Men Gather, in Speech… an exhibition of film and moving image works by Emma Charles, Rose English and Abri de Swardt. The exhibition will raise its curtain with a rare opportunity to meet with the legendary performance artist Rose English and to be in conversation with Rose English and Catherine Spencer.

I talk to you; with those few words Politics appears.

Dialogue in its Classical sense, of which Plato is an exemplar, is a spoken exchange between embodied subjects. Although much critiqued during the 20th century, it is a mode of address that underpins Western philosophy and importantly politics. Hannah Arendt’s often quoted phrase 'men gather in speech' lucidly defines the human necessity of dialogue and its role as the quintessential medium of the political. But now in the 21st century the political efficacy of human speech is deeply troubled; overtaken by technological innovation and the emergence of ‘post-political’ thought, the inherent humanity of speech has become an enigma plagued by scepticism.

Bringing three film works by Emma Charles, Rose English and Abri de Swardt into proximity, 'Men Gather, in Speech'… is a choreographed space that re-enacts and doubts the troubled relationships between 'power and the space of appearance' in our present age. Touching upon the theatrical, the fictional and the digital, the exhibition offers a complex mediation upon speech, dialogue and the slow silencing of the political space that had once appeared between us.

23 January 2015 - 21 February 2015