“Untitled #1 (Fish) (2011)” by Nina Ross

  • ©, Nina Ross, Untitled #1 (Fish) (2011)
  • Video still from Vimeo


    Untitled #1 (Fish) (2011)

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    digital video with sound  3’29”

    Drawing on my experiences of living in Norway and learning Norwegian, Untitled #1 (fish) is a self-portrait performance video that investigates a partner’s influence on learning a language through how to fillet a fish. Not simply exploring the idea of being lost in translation, it examines the interpretation and appropriation of words. In this video, the use of the knife embodies a disconnection in the self when taking on another’s tongue and trying to fit it to one’s own desires, without having a history or experiences to draw on in the language. I know how to perform the task because of general knowledge and experience in my mother tongue, such as how to hold a knife. Nevertheless, I cannot follow the instructions correctly because I do not yet own the new language. For the foreign learner the knife also represents a kind of butchering of the language; what it can feel like when first trying to pronounce foreign words.



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