La langue de ma bouche — My Tongue Does This to Me


Performance, sculpture, video

La langue de ma bouche
My Tongue Does This to Me

Past: January 20 → March 24, 2018

Up until then my tongue just lay there in my mouth in a perfectly normal way. Then it got talked about and took on a certain weight and volume in my mouth. It became something special, partly visible and partly invisible, not completely a part of me and not completely belonging to me. My tongue does this to me: it’s also a forked tongue that makes itself heard before it makes itself understood, an independent creature gifted with speech, a transmitting instrument with its own technique. That tongue’s no longer as familiar to the mouth that is both its and mine.

My tongue does this to me is also the tongue that speaks of artworks. This is a tongue that is unlearning the language of a mediation focused on information. It develops a more obscure form of mediation intended to take literally Ludwig Wittgenstein’s maxim that “what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.”1 It is not so much a matter of walling the work in with a mystical silence as of recognising the limits of linguistic clarity and finding ways of connecting with artworks in less comfortable, less familiar forms, and envisaging mediation as a sounding board. Hedwig Houben has designed instruments for this.

In the wake of the tongue this feeling of strangeness has made its way to the house that is home to the art centre: this house of dust, of stone, of… . At once staunch and hospitable, vulnerable and mutable, public and already inhabited, this house is neither completely mine nor completely yours. So come along and try out the tongue that abrades.

1 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, (1921), trans. D.F. Pears and B.F. McGuinness (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961), p. 3

  • Borborygmus, Hedwig Houben Performance Saturday, February 3, 2018

    In the performance Borborygmus, first presented in 2017 and repeated for the exhibition “My Tongue Does This to Me”, Houben talks about borborygmi (“tummy rumblings”) as a manifestation of IT within herself. Seated at a table strewn with clay-coloured internal organs, she explains that IT is this multifaceted, undefined and evolving thing, stressing that “It’s a thing that wants to be made.” The intestines are thus an embodiment of the IT as it awaits The Other, which it will inevitably — but only temporarily — alter. The other is I, that is to say the creator or artist, the mediator, the IT’s Alter (as in “alter ego”). Houben relates that while kneading the plasticine on the table, she felt the presence of a thing inside her: “In fact it was my stomach, or more precisely my lower abdomen, that first expressed this sensation of a presence,” a presence she describes as “a tingling bar you could see under the skin [mouth noises].” It is as if something had succeeded in entering her body. But how? And who? And what? ”

    Marie Canet, “Alter-it”, extract from the Journal of the show

  • Doubles corps — Body Doubles Lecture Saturday, February 3, 2018

    A talk by Marie Canet, with artists Jean-Charles de Quillacq and Brice Dellsperger.

    Between them, they articulate the question of the double corporals in the work of the two artists Jean-Charles de Quillacq and Brice Dellsperger and their echoes in cinematographic sources which accompany them. The double in the representation also raises the question of repetition and similarity as places of looping and familiarity.

93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom in 93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom out

1 rue Jean-Jaurès

93130 Noisy-le-Sec

T. 01 49 42 67 17

Official website

Opening hours

Wednesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 6 PM
Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Fermeture les jours fériés

Admission fee

Free entrance

Entrée libre

Venue schedule

The artists

  • Hedwig Houben & Jean Charles De Quillacq