Liverpool/Liverpool: The Skin of Translation, solo exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (Liverpool, NSW) and concurrently at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool Biennial (Liverpool, UK), Sept 2010.
Art itself is intimately caught up in the idea and process of migration and mutation, of the mutation that occurs when one migrates, when one is transplanted. Each mutates the other, forming a new hybrid, a mutant, from this becoming, this at once deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation. Migration puts one on a journey without end, where each putting down of roots is at the same time an uprooting, and vice versa. Such is the transplant, a person of displacement, a forever displaced person, a diaspora in oneself. Liverpool/Liverpool: The Skin of Translation is intimately related to the earth and to earth, and its powers and processes, its creativity. The works that I am showing might also be linked to the trope of the stranger, as ‘no owner of soil’.
The texts were developed in collaboration with four writers on migration, whose texts I cast with the idea of language being transplanted: “When I made Liverpool / Liverpool in the two venues of St Georges Hall in Liverpool, UK, and the Casula Powerhouse in the city of Liverpool, New South Wales, I used the words of writers on migration, Sarah Day, Nasrin Mahoutchi, Catherine Rey and Ouyang Yu, in one of the cast grass pieces I made for it. I wanted to bring the work into both a local and global context by the use of local place names from both cities, interspersed with the new words of these writers that are inscribing themselves on the surface of this country, in and upon its earth, now inscribed in and on my grass earth pieces, words usually transposed, transplanted, from elsewhere, and in effect attempt to show what links them these cities and how they each migrate into the other, are already in play in each other.” Excerpt from Elizabeth Day, ‘Interview with Nicholas Tsoutas’ in Elizabeth Day, Discontinued Narratives, 2017, book.