Nicola Gunn is an Australian Bergen-based artist working across contemporary performance, choreography and the visual arts. Borrowing from a range of disciplines, she creates a mode of live performance that plays with form, bends narrative and makes an effort to solve a problem. These works are characterised by their use of conversation as a formal device, collaboration as a process, and comedy as a necessity and guiding principle. She engages subversive and philosophical tactics to pull things apart from a moral and ethical standpoint and uses language simply to convey a hidden and modest complexity. Exploring wide-ranging topics including power, language, gentrification, displacement, the problem of intimacy and exposure, peace and conflict, her work attempts to intermingle material and context, complicating relationships between self, subject and viewer in the process.
At Bergen Kunsthall’s Live Studio, Nicola will be developing The Interpreters, part 1: an ambisonic performance installation, set almost entirely in the dark. With almost no visual component, except the images that form in the audience’s imaginations, the work is built around intimate dialogues between an Australian writer and a French translator and a completely manufactured sound environment that plays with the idea of subjectivity, words as images, language as sound, and sound as feeling-listening. Presented in Studio Bergen during BIT Teatergarasjen’s Meteor Festival in October 2023, the work questions notions of authenticity, who is translating who, and what is it for someone else to be your voice.