Secret Language
Gunia Nowik Gallery, Warsaw
18 May – 22 June 2024

The secret language may be a language born out of substitution and silence. Out of the torment of having to speak up. Of finding a voice. It may be a language that has to assert its presence in its absence. That has to claim space by reappropriating its own body, its own mouth. As a symbol of speech as much as a symbol of bodily autonomy. It may be a language that con- stitutes itself as a voice against objectifica- tion. A language that toys with the idea of tautology, which it ultimately resists, refusing to reinforce existing stereotypes. It may be a language that is neither black nor white. Adding depth and nuance. Pointing out classificatory errors. It may be a language that only allows itself to be its own fantasy. Wrecking partitions, classes, rhetoric, and regulations. It may be a language that al- ways attempts to be neither logical nor rational nor linear. That may not believe in truth or reason. Never objectified nor generalized. It may be a subjectivity that will never be owned nor understood. Its imagination may be inexhaustible, rich in individual constitutions. It may loop back onto itself, with itself. It may be a circulating mode of protest.

The secret language may be a language that consists of more than just words. Ev- erything speaks! It may be a languagethat exists in the subtext. That is subversive. That may be able to fluidly go backwards in time as well as forward. It may draw from a multitude of sources that are not pre-spoken and not pre-coded. As marks, fragments, spurs, lines, dots, and curves. In between and out of syntax. In between and out of all the languages: the language of color, of objects, of movements, of materi- als, of gestures, of symbols, of … It may be a language that encapsulates both specu- lation and understanding. As liminal think- ing. It may be a language that outlines the process of recognition. As the recognition of the unconscious where everything re- pressed manages to survive. Its meaning may be definitively unfixed. As an interpre- tation of an interpretation of an interpre- tation. As a subversion of comprehension. More than a dominant figure, it manifests itself as a parenthetical remark. A remark that scripts an alternate imagination of the world. A notation that simultaneously im- bues thinking and unthinking. It may be the weaving of patterns that does not confine but opens. That draws relations, draws in- dividual stories. It may be the aleatory po- sition of openness.

The secret language may be a language that revels in the wonder of strangeness and complexities. It may be the acceptance of misunderstandings and the experience of disability and ability. Of always being several, always being different. Not indif- ferent! As it does not believe in the whole nor in norms. It may be an elastic language that is not territorial but stretches, stretches to be soft, accidental, and transformativeas well as consistent, loyal, and reliable. It occurs simultaneously – in several bodies, several people, several cultures, several places – but never appears the same. It does not believe in identicalness and there- fore can never be identified. It may be the resistance of a concrete identity and ideational reality. A sensitive resistance. An alternate act of reception. An alternate act of representation. It may be as much the disbelief in a closed cultural identity as the disbelief in a coherent bodily identity. It may be a language that just accepts that the Other remains foreign. A gap through which alternate modes of belonging ap- pear. It may blend personal histories, still leaving them intact, still giving them theirspace. It may be the path from object to subject, from subject to object, from enigma to enigma. It may be the intimate sphere of acceptance.

The secret language may be a lan- guage of love and of empathy. It may be a language that does not expect but car-ries. That finds its power in being over- shadowed. A power wildly shared but not dominant and not aggressive. As a propo- sition, uncertain and undirected. It may be a language that does not have spikes, that smoothens its hard edges. As a constant attempt not to hurt but to heal. It may be a language that celebrates the pleasure of containing and retaining, prioritizing lis- tening over speaking, prioritizing implyingover stating. It may defy plans, intentions, and resolutions. It may defy the regime of signification and significance. It may be a language that may neither be seen as progress nor success. Not afraid of lacking. It may rather be calming and playful. It may rather be a sleeping language that lingers. It may be a language that puts dominant forms of power to rest. That recognizes ex- haustion. Queering their failure. Chi dorme non pecca. He who sleeps, does not sin. It may mean recovery. Its self-criticism may be its strength. Its force may be its fragility and vulnerability. Akin to dreams that can’t be interpreted, you have to receive, to react emotionally. It may be because it may not be. It may be because it doesn’t claim any certainty. It may be a feminist language.

Hendrike Nagel

Photo by Katarzyna Legendź