Mirror : Translation is a single screen visual art installation that considers the politics of translation and the illusion of objectivity. It was created for the exhibition, Truth.Lie.Lie at Danielle Arnaud gallery, London. For the development of Mirror : Translation – Two Sri-Lankan actors, were filmed performing monologues in Colombo. Their words were then translated multiple times into English and recorded by Sri-Lankan/UK actors in London.
The installation offered an experiment in partial translation. Two Sinhala monologues, filmed in Sri Lanka, are presented consecutively in the gallery. The ambient noise of Colombo and the original voices of the actors is audible. Orientated around the space, ultrasonic speakers create zones of sound which present a translated narrative to the viewer. Three similar but distinct translations are available to recontextualise the direct-to-camera monologues. Through error, omission, and interpretation, the installation focusses on the subjectivity of translation, the power to objectify and our ability to perceive threat.
The installation was created by David Cotterrell & Ruwanthie de Chickera.