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Monolingual Marriage

This exhibition was made in between lockdowns and isolation requirements, inspired by the change in perception around homes and how it has merged with public spaces. The paintings are snapshots of an imagined life under intermittent lockdowns. Here; in the kitchen, as the quiet drama of life continues, coffee is served to a self-proclaimed fuckboy. In a different place; a person is waiting for a meeting to begin, a doctor’s appointment, or a seminar. Somehow the furniture in my own home becomes as uncomfortable and unforgiving as the ones found at the doctor’s office. The sound of my voice is delayed and scratchy, almost catching the topic off guard as the conversations have already moved on. Speaking in contexts where monolingualism is the norm makes me overly aware of how my mind stutters, how the words get mixed up, and the sounds become unfamiliar on my tongue. It narrows my speech down to simple sentences. When the conversation is monolingual it becomes entirely my job to make sure I am not misunderstood. We become our own subtitles, and our own false friends. Communication is about how we move in the world. The way we express ourselves, when we sleep, wake up in someone else’s hoodie, or stumble into a kitchen looking for coffee, a snack, and a chat; hoping the way we have slept is not just our business. Sometimes a monolingual marriage is not only about speaking the same language but living on the same telephone line as well, the voice loud and clear; no scratches in sight.

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