PROJECT SPACE: Migrasophia

By Zeigam Azizov, 8 February 2005

Zeigam Azizov's specially comissioned art project


Unusual phrases for the usual phrase book (extracts)

This phrase book is a part of my larger project called Migrasophia. Migrasophia consist of videos and installations, posters, as well as essays. Migrasophia is an attempt to articulate visual transformations brought about by global migrations. It is documentation of the specific historical event of the cross circulation of knowledge by migration which connects disconnected worlds, as well as the construction of a genealogy of migration and the way it is mediated. Videos and a phrase book, posters and plans will continue this project. All this is mediated through representations connecting them in a particular way via the discovery of meaning. The project will continue for as long as this discovery continues.

Things and events in our world of global migrations do not propose their own intrinsic meaning, but instead represent the state of constant breakdown and transformation. Meaning itself is a practice and produced by migrants depending on their knowledge of places and languages. Moving across the disseminated terrain of culture, the migration of people makes visible ‘invisible’ places and ideas, since the cross-circulation of ideas is inscribed in their movement. In order to problemitise this, I have constructed a new term: Migrasophia (like in migration+(philo)sophia). It can be said that construction of new terms is not such a new activity, but derives from the artistic activity of Dadaism and later Conceptual art. It is not alien for literature or philosophy to break down the ordered grammar and syntax of language in order to create a new broken language in an ‘aphasic’ opening to locate the meaning derived from ideas. What some called 'non-sense' has been announced by Deleuze as an overabundance of sense held within, waiting for its time to emerge. The deformation of Earth and the breaking down of language negotiate sutures of becoming. Migrants too, very often operate by using broken language to stratify the landscape they move across.

Since the language of art symbolises the events of the world to come, it is also the main instrument for the production of meaning. Mistakes made in the process of the global breakdown of linguistic and semiotic structures exceed the linguistic bureaucracy of correcting. At the very moment of misprint they develop into new meaning. This way of meaning production brings back the missing, invisible dimension of reality. The global flux of malfunctioning in comprehension and the phase of brokenness of the English language itself is opening up new terrain for the creation of meaningful strata: instead of relying on old grammar, mistakes can be developed into new meanings: not by denying old rules of grammar or by privileging neologisms, but by finding their combination, which is articulated in mistakes.

The following extracts consist of stereotypes in everyday language perceived differently, because they constitute an event of migration. These phrases are combined with ‘neologisms’ created out of mistakes.

Zeigam Azizov,

London, August 2004