My intervention is simple: the artist draws or marks a one metre square on the ground and members of the public are invited to stand in the square and repeat the word ‘Dada’. They can scream, sing, whisper, mumble, chant, shout, or say the word in any other way they like – but it’s the only word they can say. The aim is to explore that feeling of a word repeated losing all meaning, as well as allowing people to verbally stim.
I’ve noticed that as accessibility measures have increased, for instance quiet shopping times and stimming toys, there is still a lack of places where people can comfortably and safely make noise to release tension. Many of us have verbal tics, but there are very few places where it is socially acceptable to scream or shout without concerned members of the public intervening.
I have EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) and when I get overwhelmed, I struggle to release the tension building inside of me. I’ve found that being able to scream, sing or shout can make me feel better, and it doesn’t really matter what’s being said. That’s why I’ve chosen to illustrate my intervention with my painting “I Figured The Water Could Take It” -which is about an experience I had when I was unwell a few years ago. It’s part of a larger project I’m working on called ‘They Called Me A Banshee Cause I Wouldn’t Stop Screaming Your Name’.
The concept of Semantic Satiation has always seemed Dadaist to me – that we experience a word as having no meaning if it’s repeated. It’s an incredibly accessible Dadaist action, carrying within it a critique of the very concept of language and highlighting the absurdity or believing we can communicate with one another.
I feel like this encompasses the Dadaist characteristics of absurdity, nonsense, and spontaneity. Using sound in this way is also anti-bourgeois in that it breaks through the typical hallowed silence of the gallery setting.
I have a 1st class degree in Art, Philosophy & Contemporary Practice from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee, and an MFA in Art & Humanities. I have been a writer-in-residence at Stroud Valleys Artspace, and exhibited work in group shows at the Cooper Gallery, Generator Projects, Summerhall, SaltSpace Gallery, Gayfield Creative Spaces, Coburg House Art Studios and other publicly funded and/or artist-run spaces across Scotland. I have an art studio in Bridgeton, Glasgow, and one of my paintings was featured on Grayson’s Art Club on Channel 4 this spring. My dream is to have a solo exhibition in a publicly funded art gallery and/or for Tracey Emin to say something nice about my work.