© 2019 JESSICA CHAO

TRANSLATION STATION

Translation Station installation, NHCC

National Hispanic Cultural Center Museum art show titled Because It's Time: Unraveling Race and Place in New Mexico in May 2018 featuring over 26 local artists.  

 

Translation Station is a multi-media installation that focuses on human social interactions specifically through verbal and written language to emphasize racial and cultural conflict that is largely due to mistranslation.  The limitations caused by language barriers create a number of problems that include the inability to gain information.  

 

The installation demonstrates a physical translation of information to simulate exchange of language conversions.  

 

The clear vinyl wall generates a literal interpretation of a language barrier.  Hand castings suspended throughout the piece are scattered in the air to suggest migratory patterns recognized in nature.  Like migratory insects and birds, there is a dialogue between spaces as each destination is a focal point of information exchange.  The grouping of organic shapes and form enable the audience to understand information moving and traveling as it is transferred from generation to generation.  As hands filter through the wall from one direction to the other, abandoned pairs exhibit information that is left behind, forgotten, and undiscovered.  

 

Language is used as a weapon to protect us, but it also diversifies and teaches us about each other.  Language is a powerful tool that allows us to validate who we are and understand our own identities.