Undecidable Identity

  • Christelle Faucoulanche (France and Spain)
    performative lecture

    ‘The Club’ Café-Art Gallery, Yerevan
    October 12, 2011

‘Undecidable Identity’* was a lecture and performance by Christelle Faucoulanche for which the artist has written a text in English about the fluctuation of identity inherent in gender, language, race, and/or national identity. The text had been translated into Armenian (a foreign and unspoken language for the artist), and was read aloud.

This performance attempted to deconstruct the notion of identity in spoken language by borrowing tools often used to facilitate understanding (e.g. translation, dubbing and simulation of languages). The hegemony of a language, such as indications of gender in language, is supposed to harmonize communication and link people together in order to convey Knowledge. By doing a lecture in a language that is unfamiliar to the speaker, but is native to the audience, the artist tried to reach the point of vulnerability from a reversal situation.

*Derrida’s concept of undecidability describes verbal properties that can no longer be included within philosophical (binary) oppositions.

Christelle Faucoulanche is a young multidisciplinary artist. She graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Bordeaux (France) in 2008. Concepts related to physical states of endurance, such as exhaustion and inertia, appear as reoccurring themes in her work. By the deconstruction of genre and the diversion of codes and standards established, the artist creates the state of doubt convenient. Faucoulanche’s practice is, to a certain extent, influenced by her journeys abroad. She describes herself as an ‘expeditionist’ and contextual artist. In retrospect, she has worked in Spain, Argentina, and in 2009 she received a research and creation grant by the French consulate in Quebec together with the French Ministry of Culture for a three-month residency at the Foundry Darling in Montreal, Canada. In 2010 she won the Injuve production grant for artists under 30 y.o. (Premios Injuve para la creación joven 2010) to develop in Andalucía desert a video project in the Spaghetti Western film locations. Faucoulanche currently lives and works in Barcelona where she attends the MACBA (Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art) Independent Studies Program.