What is a translation? Do we only translate words, or perhaps also art? Is it possible to translate one culture into another? The symposium Exercises in Translatability, on 13 October 2011 at 2–7 pm, gathers a group of theorists and curators to discuss how we in a globalised world can relate to questions about translations and translatability—culturally, esthetically and linguistically. Invited speakers are influential thinkers such as Lisette Lagnado and Vladimir Safatle, and the guest curators of the ongoing exhibition The Spiral and the Square, Daniela Castro and Jochen Volz.
The symposium coincides with the release of the anthology Translatability with new essays by several of the speakers and new translations of texts by among others Èdouard Glissant, Aleksandar Hemon, Osman Lins and Jorge Luis Borges and Clarice Lispector.
The Symposium, as well as the publication, is part of the collaborative project Translatability; aesthetics and the transformation of the public sphere in an era of globalization, which was initiated by Bonniers Konsthall, Södertörn University and Albert Bonniers Publishers in autumn 2010. The project links theories of cultural translation to the practice of exhibition and publishing. Gathering curators, researchers, critics, artists and writers, the question of translatability is examined from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view. Serving as an example, Brazilian art and literature offers a focus. The question of cultural translation, however, cannot be limited to a certain region. The question of translatability is examined from numerous viewpoints, discussing the impact of geography, history and politics among factors that determine the possibilities of cultural translation.