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Caroline Bergvall presents: Oh my oh my

Great Hall King's Building Strand Campus
17/10/2017 (19:00-20:00)

Part of the Arts and Humanities Festival 2017

Presented by the Arts & Humanities Research Institute


Caroline Bergvall presents: Oh my oh my

Internationally celebrated poet, artist and vocal performer Caroline Bergvall presents a new collaborative work-in-progress.

In Oh My Oh My, Bergvall explores linguistic connections and displacements through a mix of spoken performance, live improvisation and a chorus of treated interviews. Drawing on language material recently recorded in travels across Europe, as well as live recordings captured during the Global Women’s March for Documenta14, Caroline Bergvall presents poetic variations for a world on the brink. Using a distinctive and unique process of translation and sonic patterning, Bergvall weaves together a language-scape that stretches from Algiers to Reykjavik, creating an abstract and complex passageway of sound made by ancient, endangered, and new local languages. This piece expands an ongoing body of work by Bergvall, which explores issues of linguistic travel and sedimentation, as well as medieval love poetry, and shines a light on linguistic and political thresholds.

Caroline Bergvall
Image: Caroline Bergvall, photographer Josh Redman

For this work-in-progress Bergvall has been working with an exciting team of experienced musicians including trombonist Sarah Gail Brand and electronic musician Bill Thompson. The performance included a short discussion chaired by Medievalist scholar Professor Clare Lees who has been close to the project from its inception.

The project will be jointly presented at Poetry International, Southbank Centre, 14-15 October 2017. Funding and support from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, King’s College London and Arts Council England.



CAROLINE BERGVALL concept, artistic production and live voice

BILL THOMPSON field recording composition

SARAH GAIL BRAND live and improvised trombone

JOHN WYNNE sound artist on the Documenta14 work


EMMA WILCOX project production

CAROLINE BERGVALL is a writer and artist of French-Norwegian background based in London who works across artforms, media and languages. A strong exponent of writing methods that emerge from multilingual, audiovisual and contextual concerns. Recent acclaimed performances Drift (2014) and Ragadawn (2016), recipient of the 2017 Cholmondeley Award.

CLARE LEES is Professor of Medieval Literature and History of the Language at King’s. Her research projects include studies of gender and the history of women’s writing, religious literature and cultural studies. As Professor of Medieval Literature at King’s, Lees is currently working on a research project entitled, The Contemporary Arts and Early Medieval Culture in Britain and Ireland, funded by a Major Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust

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