Every Word Was Once an Animal

Digital print wallpaper, video, robots, scents, sound, glass, ceramic, neon, ink on paper, digital print on aluminum, interactive dance, 2020

Inspired by research on the gestural and olfactory language of Western fence lizards, Every Word was Once an Animal explores the overlapping forces of nature and culture between humans, animals, and language. The exhibition blends lead artist Carla Bengtson’s investigations into the lifeworlds of nonhuman animals with choreographer Darion Smith’s interest in embodied language, composer Juliet Palmer’s investigations into the material possibilities and constraints of human and nonhuman utterance, and artist Jessie Rose Vala’s evocations of the intimate relationship between sculptural form and the mythic mind.
In collaboration with lizard researcher Dr. Emilia Martins.