art installation featured september 11, 2020

Manifesta, Marseille



Trinh T.Minh-ha

Trinh T. Minh-ha (VN/US/FR) is a filmmaker, writer, music composer and professor based in California.  Known for her feminist and decolonial practice, she works in between genres and across the Arts. Trinh’s films and installations are conceived to shift our perception of reality and enable us to experience sonic images with our whole body. They induce a state where viewers “see sounds and hear images”, leading to what she calls an elsewhere within here: a between that breaks with a here and a there, and with the prevailing systems of binary oppositions. Her work is attentive to its own “nature”, to the movement of its unseen undercurrents, and to its continual processes of formation and de-formation. Highly attuned to moments of transition and to the transience of visible realities, it threads its way in the seen, the unseen, the barely seen, and is free to move between genres: between the photographic realism of mainstream cinema, the anti-representative materiality of experimental films and the anti-photographic sphere of virtual reality.


Lynn Marie Kirby

Lynn Marie Kirby (US)  is an American artist based in San Francisco. Lynn works in a variety of time-based forms, including film, web-based platforms, and hand-held devices, from screenings to public installation and performance, she engages our relationship to place, often with text, often with collaborators. Lately she has performed site interventions outside and alongside established art systems enlarging the idea of the exhibition and its relation to the public.

Each of Lynn’s projects map emotional topographies, her most recent work uses scent, taste, and touch to explore expanded embodied perception beyond the visual and aural, to engage the public in the history of particular sites.


Trinh T. Minh-ha and Lynn Marie Kirby, In Transit: Between and Beyond, 1999 / 2020
Courtesy of the artists

This installation is a tribute to the love of poetry, to the state of between-ness and renewal innate to the experience of Marseille as a city of transit – and more specifically to the Villa Air-Bel as a site of refuge and encounter for poets, artists, activists and thinkers. The vibrant diversity of Marseille makes it a physically and spiritually intense city. When living in a time as unpredictably fragile as ours, the paths and passages creatively pursued are full of internal and external surprises.

Here, the Vietnamese-born filmmaker, writer, composer and professor of Gender studies at the University of Berkeley, Trinh T. Minh-ha collaborates with the US-American artist and filmmaker Lynn Marie Kirby to stage an encounter between page and screen. By presenting textual fragments drawn from the work of twelve women poets (Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Simone Yoyotte aka Symone Monnerot, Myung Mi Kim, June Jordan, Patricia Dienstfrey, Audre Lorde, Laure aka Colette Pierot, Etel Adnan, Rena Rosenwasser, Erica Hunt, Wendy Rose and Alma Villanueva) on translucent screens, they create a gender-bending meeting place that questions Marseille’s visible colonial past by generating a multiplicity of possible rebel alliances.

As a poetic encounter on cinematic canvas, the installation features the basic components of both media – external, internal light; womb voices and throat voices; visual, verbal and tactile letters – to offer a spatial experience of the screen/ page. Through textual passages, one enters a body that playfully re-stages the processes of reflecting, projecting and vibrating that define the acts of writing, reading and creating new paths.


Design and programming of the lights / using 17X Robe Robin LedBeam 150