Tell/Swallow is an installation component of 'The Story of My Life (June 2021)', an installation and performance series based upon “The Story of Your Life”, a performance script contained within 'The Art/Life Institute Handbook' by Linda Montano. Rebecca Arp, a queer interdisciplinary artist and admirer of Montano’s work, displays this piece as part of the 48 Stunden Neukölln festival in Berlin, Germany.
This site-specific installation centers the voice as a component of “Luft”, the theme of this year’s 48 Stunden Neukölln event. The basic condition for vocalization is the movement of air: it travels from the lungs, into the throat, and out through the mouth to produce any type of sound, speech, or song. This print, as a result of its display in an apartment window, allows the viewer to concurrently both look down the throat and see reflections of the immediate environment. Arp aims to show the impact of the home, family, and the environment one is raised in on the facility of vocalization of certain topics. As a queer woman who grew up in a rural, conservative, and Catholic environment, Arp often felt unable to speak openly about her life experiences. The title Tell/Swallow gives us two choices—to tell our personal story or to swallow our words. This installation is the first part of a multi-step series of performative acts that Rebecca Arp will carry on as part of 'The Story of My Life (June 2021)'.