Caroline Bergvall - Maine College of Art

Caroline Bergvall is a writer, artist and vocal performer of French-Norwegian origins, based in London. Works across artforms, media and languages. A strong exponent of writing methods that emerge from multilingual, audiovisual and contextual concerns. Projects include poetic works, audio pieces, drawings, installations, and live performances. Her practice pushes at the boundaries of language and has an ongoing concern with issues surrounding social displacement, migration, belonging, language histories and liminal spaces. Starting-points and source materials emerge readily from a mixture of literary or historic events and contemporary events. She is increasingly recognised for her collaborative performance and distinctive vocal and spoken practice. Recent noted pieces include Oh My Oh Mya Documenta14 soundwork commission (2017); the large-scale project and book <Drift (2014-2016), combined harrowing contemporary sea migrancy reports with a rewrite of the Anglo-saxon “Seafarer”. It has been performed at various venues across Europe of which Southbank Centre (London) & Festival de la Batie (Geneva) and continues to be very well received: forthcoming performance at OperaEstate (Bassano, Sept18) and as part of the exhibition Making Migration Visible (ICA, Portland, Autumn 2018). The book was awarded a Judith E. Wilson Fellowship in Poetry and Drama (Cambridge). She will be presenting a new commissioned performance work Conference (after Attar)at the Whitstable Biennale (June ’18). Her current ongoing project Sonic Atlas involves collaborative performances as well as engaging in conversational research with multiple language speakers across the UK and the Continent. Her outdoor sunrise performance Ragadawn for spoken voice, soprano and a chorus of multiple languages was created with composer Gavin Bryars and is currently being performed in Europe. She has been awarded a Cholmondeley Award for her poetic work and is the first recipient of the art literary prize Prix Littéraire Bernard Heidsieck-Centre Pompidou (2017). Bergvall has been praised by Publishers Weekly, US as “one of the most influential experimental spoken-word artists internationally.” In the UK, The Guardian has seen her as “an artist and poet pushing the boundaries of language in a blogged-up and twittering world.”

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