Adele Dipasquale

Adele Dipasquale Lose Voice Toolkit, (video still), 2023.

Voices give words to a world, to a feeling. But staying silent is often equally revealing. In Adele Dipasquale’s (1994) work, the voice is the most important subject matter and material. The artist explores how words can accommodate ideas, and how some things are given a name, and therefore exist, while other things are not. How language can not only play a role in oppression, but also in emancipation and resistance. Dipasquale furthermore researches how language can be imposed on people, how we define each other, and who controls these processes. The artist wonders whether normative Western binary constructions like female versus male, nature versus culture, and fiction versus fact are still relevant today. By consciously incorporating misconceptions, language games, and incorrect translations in their work, Dipasquale wants to question seemingly irrefutable concepts.

Their film Lose Voice Toolkit (2022-2023) shows a group of children who have stopped using words. These were possibly stolen from them by powerful ‘voice-stealing magnets’, or dissolved while eating ‘voice-loss sweets’. The words seem to have gotten lost somewhere. The children are also starting to transform. They appear to be talking with their noses, elbows, and pupils, which makes it hard to tell what is what, or who is who.

The film evolved out of a year-long workshop in collaboration with the children of Farfallopolis: class 1B of the Gino Strada school in Turin (IT). It is about the languages of childhood, the power of silence, and other forms of non-verbal communication that are used as a gesture of rebellion. ​

Text: Esther Darley

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang