Southbank Centre & King’s College London
Working across artforms, media and languages, Caroline Bergvall is a London-based artist, writer and performer of French-Norwegian origins. In June, she received the 2017 Cholmondeley Award for her contributions to poetry. Following the success, she was also recently presented with the inaugural Prix Bernard Heidsieck – Centre Pompidou, which distinguishes an author for a recent literary creation conceived outside the book.
The power of Caroline Bergvall’s poetic and sonic creation comes from her work on languages, which gives her output an incomparable dimension. We are struck by the singularity of her broken, dislocated words and phrasing.
– Serge Lasvignes, President of the Center Pompidou
Bergvall’s new collaborative work in progress, Oh My Oh My, draws on language material recorded in travels across Europe, as well as live recordings captured during the London Women’s March. Through a mix of spoken poetic performance, musical composition, field recordings and lightwork, the piece explores linguistic connections and displacement. With a distinctive process of translation, sonic patterning and rhythmic repetitions, Bergvall weaves together a language-scape that stretches from Algiers to Reykjavik, creating a complex passageway of sound made by ancient, endangered, and new local languages.
This year, Southbank Centre’s longest running festival, Poetry International, celebrates its 50th anniversary by opening London Literature Festival for the first time, with a whole weekend devoted to poetry and spoken word from across the world. Bergvall performs Oh My Oh My, which is specially assembled for the festival, at 7.30pm on 14 and 15 October. On 17 October, Bergvall will also present Oh My Oh My at King’s College London as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival 2017.
Top Photo: Josh Redman