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Sarah Browne, Argument from silence, 2017. 3D scan of mouth cast produced in Konstfack workshop, Stockholm

Argument from silence (2017) is a workshop held with small groups, in advance of screenings of the film Report to an Academy. The workshop was developed to activate some of the research used in making the film and to test its concerns in different contexts of speech, particularly in educational settings that bring together students and lecturers.

Consider the space of your mouth, and how your tongue feels inside it.

The tongue is our first tool for exploring, learning and knowing (before we can talk).

Is the diagnostic tool of the McGill Pain Questionnaire helpful in naming the physical sensations of emotional or psychological pain?

Does this (English) vocabulary translate into other languages, or not?

Could institutional pain be mapped?

What poetry could be created from text and utterances issued by the educational institution, in order to speak back to the institution itself in echolalic response?

What is the sensation in the oral cavity when expressing an objection, or not being able to?

How could the negative space of the mouth express a tangible, undeniable object?


Ahmed, Sara. 'Resignation is a Feminist Issue,' 2016

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature. University of Minnesota Press, 1996

Foucault, Michel. 'Discourse and Truth: the Problematisation of Parrhesia.' Lectures at UC Berkeley, 1983

The Kafka Project: major works, translations and scholar's network

Labelle, Brandon. Lexicon of the Mouth: poetics and politics of the oral imaginary. Bloomsbury, London, 2014

Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: the making and unmaking of the world. Oxford University Press, 1987

Screening and workshop at Glasgow University, 2017. Part of In/Human: The Body as Resource is curated by Giulia Colletti, Athena Gerakis, Natallia Nenarokomova and David Upton

Attached documents

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Workshops delivered with staff and students from Konstfack and Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Glasgow School of Art and University College Dublin during 2017. Special thanks to Jenny Richards, David Upton and Emer O Boyle.