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Too Easy and Too Simple 2

 

Too Simple and Too Easy is a two-channel video installation commissioned for the exhibition project Borderless initiated by Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti.

 

It takes place in high school, during the French lesson. Five students, coming from different national backgrounds, engage in a translation of a passage from the film Ici et ailleurs / Here and  Elsewhere (1976) directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Marie Miéville.   The behavior of the students is motivated by the desire to learn a foreign language, that in this case shifts from one mode of translation to another. To unpack the meaning of the words they hear they rely on each other assistance. In the first part of the video, a fellow exchange French student helps Slovene students with the translation of the text from the French language and the students respond by teaching her the Slovene language of the translation.  In the second part of the piece, the final sentence of the passage is being translated into the Arabic language. A young woman, who immigrated to Slovenia, teaches the students the translation. They listen carefully and attentively in order to learn to pronounce the words they hear. They rely on the teacher who tries to make a language unknown to them sound familiar with persistent exercise in repetition. Listening, paying attention, rehearsing, pronouncing and mispronouncing, evolves into a mutual effort to correctly perform, however, it also becomes apparent how language operates as a limitation and division. Specific sounds are untranslatable, some meanings are fixed, while others are more fluid or variable. Despite the obstacles, a desire to learn is vivid, as the group engages in sharing new meanings.