POURPARLER / DIALOGUES ( 2017 ) – Sanne De Wolf

Conversations are omnipresent and a seemingly established condition within our Western democratic society. However, certain political debates seem to have become endless, without effective negotiations or resolutions for the human beings directly involved in the precarious situations discussed.

‘Pourparler’ refers to Gilles Deleuzes’ way of philosophical thinking, in which he sees dialo- gues in terms of a concerted strategy of thinking as post-identity1. By embracing and acknowledging the multivocality within, we can engage in more constructive dialogues with the diverse voices of others, and ourselves.

‘Pourparler’ positions this underlying need for an active multivocality within society in interaction with the state of the peace talks about the Syrian war. Departing from Deleuze’s thinking method in which the importance of saying ‘I’ is ought to be eliminated, the work of De Wolf carries many voices, which not only communicate to each other, within the work itself, but also try to reach out to the approaching visitor: fostering thoughts about our own responsibility and position within socially engaged discussions and political decision making.

The installation ‘Pourparler’ consists of hundreds of legs in various sizes, executed in plaster and porcelain. Isolated from the bodies they could belong to, their positioning towards each other strikes up a wordless communication. Through their bodily movements and the fragility of the material used, we can see numerous individual conversations unfold, while at the same time they communicate a collective concern for entering into a large dialogue, reaching out to the spectator to hear their silent voices and respond to them.

Text: Anne van Oppen, February 2017