Denis Villeneuve

Arrival

“Arrival’s narrative plays out in four languages: English, Mandarin, Russian and Heptapod. Though they are not spoken in the film, we learn that Louise is also fluent in Farsi, Sanskrit and Portuguese (and possibly others). The language learning process and the growing translingual bond between Louise and the heptapods forms the film’s narrative arc and the majority of its plot. Thus language, and specifically the mechanics of ←215 | 216→multilingualism, is Arrival’s central theme. Within this context, the ability to communicate across language barriers is an asset, and the flexibility to navigate new linguistic challenges is invaluable. The heptapods are pure science fiction, but serve a powerful metaphorical function. As Emily Alder (2016) writes in The Conversation, “ultimately, Arrival is less about communicating with the aliens than with each other – internationally but also individually […] The film’s message is that difference is not about body shape or colour but language, culture and ways of thinking. It’s not about erasing that difference but communicating through it”. Gemma King

Reed Esslinger

Reed Esslinger’s work takes many forms, (sculpture, installation, video, writing, etc.) but almost always involves fibers and theatre. Having spent 3 years living on Réunion Island, an Outer Seas Department of France in the Indian Ocean, Reed’s interest in the island’s linguistic and cultural creolization have led to visual metaphors for the elusive process of relinquishing, adding, and transforming parts of one’s identity. She ultimately loves stories- whether absorbing, recording, or recounting them, and sees teaching as a natural occasion for mutual authorship and exploration.

Espen Sommer Eide

Dead Language Poetry
What we lose when a language dies is a broad topic which is interesting from both a cultural historical, linguistic and philosophical point of view. With a background in art, music and philosophy, Espen Sommer Eide has used numerous approaches to observe the phenomenon. He is interested in the complexity in the process behind destruction, evolution and creation of language[…] ‘Dead Language Poetry’ is Espen Sommer Eide’s first solo exhibition.