Talking ahead of one's thoughts


A workshop by Sarah Vanhee.

In an attempt to grasp different layers of the 'here and now' in language, Sarah Vanhee developed a performance practice she calls ‘talking ahead of one’s thoughts’. The piece ‘Turning Turning (a choreography of thoughts)’ is based on that practice.

In the workshop, this technique will be used as the basis for a daily 'training' with the participants – working with each one's different personal structure, language apparatus, physicality and thinking. How does the performing subject relate to this ‘here and now’ in language, given that we don’t approach language as a mere tool for functional communication but rather as an expression of a consciousness, a being in continuous transformation? How to capture the ‘now’ in words? How to move inside language, unplanned, uncensored? How to say what one really thinks, here and now? Which kind of structure or struggle gets revealed?

We will deal with different aspects of the performance: the movement / rhythmical pattern within speaking - as a kind of vocal fingerprint, the position and dramaturgy of the listener, the 'self' that hides or shows 'itself' through language, different ways to think about this 'chase of the now'. What is that 'consciousness on speed' actually and what does it mean in this time? What is this fetishism of ‘the here and now’, and what are the consequences of general acceleration?

Participants will be invited to do the training and link their own work to it, preferably bringing in elements of their own practice to enrich, pervert, extend or give a new perspective to the relation between language and thinking, the idea of the ‘self’, or performance as production of meaning. The idea is to extend the existing ‘turning turning toolbox’, and create a common practice that touches on the mechanics of language and thought production, as well as basic questions in performance (physical and mental awareness, performativity, attention, so-called authenticity etc.).

The workshop took place from October 15th to 19th, 2012 in Brussels.


Extended documentation of the workshop and an essay on Turning Turning by Joe Kelleher can be found on oral site.

More info on Turning Turning

Bio Sarah Vanhee:

Sarah Vanhee's artistic practice is linked to performance, visual art and literature. It uses different formats and is often (re)created in situ. Recent projects include Untranslatables (a guide to translingual dialogue); The Great Public Sale of unrealized but brilliant Ideas; The C-Project/The Miraculous Life of Claire C; Turning Turning (a choreography of thoughts); Untitled.

Her work has been presented in various contexts such as De Appel arts centre (Amsterdam), iDans (Istanbul), Centre Pompidou (Metz), Impulstanzfestival (Vienna), Artefact festival/Stuk (Leuven), Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven), etc. She published two books with Onomatopee (Eindhoven). She was an artist in residence at Theater Frascati (Amsterdam), and is currently in residency at Arts Centre CAMPO (Ghent). In 2008 she was a resident at Cittadellarte/Fondazione Pistolleto, Biella (I). She also does coaching, teaching, and writes interviews and texts. Her work was nominated for the Ton Lutz prijs 2007, Prix Jardin d’Europe 2010 and for the VSCD Mimeprijs 2012.