I was surprised to find myself writing what I did in my most recent artist statement. It’s always uncomfortable summing things up in a couple of paragraphs as you have to either be unhelpfully vague or unhelpfully specific.

I’ve written lots of these statements over the past couple of years, and it’s interesting to see how they read together rather than as little independent synchronic slices. Here are a bunch of them, most recent first:

(I’m going to keep adding to this list as I write new statements, which will confuse the time stamp on the post.)

November 2009

Tamarin Norwood is an artist and writer living and working in London. She graduated from Oxford University in 2004 and Central Saint Martins in 2007 with first class honours in Linguistics and Fine Art respectively, and is now in the second year of the MFA Art Writing at Goldsmiths. Her work has been exhibited in the UK, Europe and the US, and her artist’s book DO SOMETHING is published in December this year. She is a founding member of antepress, with whom she regularly contributes to Resonance FM and is writer in residence at FormContent Gallery.

Tamarin’s texts, videos, performances and objects consider the friction between visual art and writing, and between their production and their circulation. Against a background in language and translation, she applies textual strategies of multilingualism, translation and repetition to non-textual artifacts, creating quietened or ‘flattened’ works that draw attention to their own artifice.

October 2008

I work as an artist and writer, and begin the Goldsmiths MFA in Art Writing this month. My texts, videos, performances and domestic objects engage the friction between visual art and writing; expression and experience; artwork and everyday life. Against a background in language and translation, my current work explores some of the structural issues raised by écriture feminine, including the integrity of authorship and the possibility of creating multiple narrative entry points and exit points. To this end I apply textual strategies of multilingualism, translation and repetition to non-textual artifacts, creating quietened or ‘flattened’ works that draw attention to their own artifice.

August 2008

Tamarin uses language and objects to articulate the gap between the familiar and the unknown. Informed by her training in linguistics and translation, her works close in on this gap by disrupting their own narratives – videos with mismatched subtitles; translations that don’t quite reach; appropriated objects that look somehow out of place; lectures that refuse to make proper sense. Tamarin’s work plays at keeping a distance while coaxing the viewer to delve inside and explore.

February 2008

I work as an artist and writer, with projects frequently spanning the two disciplines. I am interested in quietening my writing and my objects: flattening their propositional force by repetition, by writing in half-learned languages, by confusing the invented and the actual, and by developing analogies among disparate ideas, things and registers.

My domestic objects and constructions use these strategies of quietness to explore my attachment to the things and patterns I collect, make and reappropriate. Chairs become rooms and rooms become dolls’ houses; childhood and adulthood exchange roles along with their corresponding sizes, scales and habits; patterns migrate from paper to fabric to wood; clothing reappears as bindings on books; cups and forks resurface on pegs and washing-lines. My indeterminate purposefulness integrates itself into my everyday life, as the same repetitious and analogous registers determine my ad-hoc solutions to domestic problems. The same wool strings up my saucepan lids in the kitchen, attaches my teacups to the trellis outside as a temporary plant-pots, and is bulldog-clipped to my window frame in bundles to stop it clanging during storms at sea.

December 2007

I speak fluent Italian and intermediate French and German, and I have learned elementary Mandarin Chinese and Urdu. My practical and theoretical research into language and translation fuels my fascination with boundary-lines, and more specifically with distinctions between the space inside artwork and the space outside. Making moving image and performance work and negotiating convincing contexts for documentation, screening and installation are central parts of my practice and they approach the core of these concerns. My writing and visual artwork sets out from the hypothesis of infinitely deferred meaning in language, as entailed by the post-structuralist suspicion of logocentric thought. I aim to quieten or flatten the propositional force of my visual and written work so that it resists definitive reading and hence closure, and to do this I have developed strategies of multilingualism, reiteration, translation and what I call ‘deference’: the text’s self-awareness of itself as text. This interplay between writing and visual artwork mirrors my negotiation of the ground between theory and practice in my work.

May 2007

I am trained as a linguist and translator and now work as a text, video and performance artist. A fascination with language and translation underlies my practice, which surfaces in the ungrammaticality, mistranslation and appropriation of the texts I find and write. My videos are characterised by juxtaposed texts, ill-fitting subtitles and confused narratives, which suggest the in-betweens of language, memory and understanding.

March 2007

I am trained as a linguist and have worked as a translator and language teacher. My fascination with ungrammaticality, mistranslation and appropriation continues to influence my artistic practice: my videos are characterized by juxtaposed texts, ill-fitting subtitles and confused narratives, which suggest the in-betweens of language and memory.

March 2007
A fascination with the structures and relationships of language and translation underlies my practice, which surfaces in the ungrammaticality, mistranslation and appropriation of my text, video and object work. In my most recent videos I work between research and intuition to extend my translation of words into things and videos.

September 2006

I am trained as a linguist and have worked as a translator and language teacher. My fascination with ungrammaticality, mistranslation and appropriation continues to influence my artistic practice: my videos are characterized by juxtaposed texts, ill-fitting subtitles and confused narratives, which suggest the in-betweens of language and memory. I work on a low budget and write, shoot and edit my videos myself.

May 2006

My work aims to question mainstream interpretations of things and words. Informed by translation theory and post-structuralist reluctance to settle, my found texts and objects create a language that rejects any definitive reading and offers a quiet, inquisitive interruption of authority. Recent work explores what becomes of a translation that has lost its original, and whether there can be such a thing as a translation with no original at all. Currently I am applying the same questions to found and created objects, interposing a floating middlespace in which the mind is disoriented and left to wander.

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