Are you a monoglot or a ployglot? Is your limit a bit of “holiday French”, or can you converse with the natives almost anywhere you go? Most people have got beginner level something in their locker, and whatever your proficiency, the very process of learning another tongue reveals just how strange languages can be, and how easily things can get lost in translation. Things get even more complicated when there are different alphabets involved, and the use of the written word as a form of communication is up for exploration in Language Arts, a new exhibition from Slavs and Tatars.
Linked with the advancement of civilizations, written languages have been a cornerstone of the great empires for pragmatic, artistic and propaganda purposes. Language Arts takes a look at a broad range of different languages through sculptures, installations, textiles and printed material, investigating how they can be employed, manipulated and exploited. The Third Line in Dubai presents Slavs and Tatars’ first solo Middle Eastern show until 17 April.