Dos Palabras was an inte(xt)change that has taken place in Exeter (HEM festival 2002), Birmingham (as Bag Lady, image shown below, 2003), and London (Tabernacle Trust, Nottinghill, 2004)
I exchanged small clear plastic bags of seawater with one word for another word given to me by members of the public. This inte(xt)change finds a reference in Isabel Allende’s short story Dos Palabras (Two Words). Her character Belisa is so poor that her choices are to become a servant or a prostitute. Instead she discovers the magic of words, she
‘found out that words make their way in the world without a master, and that anyone with a little cleverness can appropriate them and do business with them.’
This ‘dyadic interaction’ of fragmented texts, in the form of the conversation and negotiation enacted in a public space, uses the gendered body as a site of exchange. In each of these re-versionings of inter-textual public exchange the ‘dialogic’ was explored in unexpected ways.
Documentation video coming soon.