kinderwort / children’s discourse

kinderwort / children’s discourse is an exhibition and research project, which explores the social role of language from a transdisciplinary perspective. It has been initiated and realized by Hinrich Sachs, with Samo Tomšič (philosopher), Anna Lisa Ellend and Albert Liebl (narrators), Colophon (typography), and Groenlandbasel (scenography) in the fall of 2020, at Bollag
Studios, Basel, featured in the decentralized activities program
of the Swiss Art Awards 2020.

A group of objects – items used and designated for various purposes by individual children during play – is put on display.
The selection of the objects reflects an ongoing study on how children use language in play, and each item is accompanied by information that gives context to the respective situation.
The research process is based on information from individuals,
as well as from artworks, films, and children’s books.

For kinderwort / children’s discourse, the designated objects and contexts are also presented in a video, in the given language of the respective exhibition location. Furthermore, an essay is made available, which reflects on the act of designating and children’s playful attitude toward language in contrast to ongoing normalizing tendencies in communication, philosophy, and science.

Views from the exhibition venue, Basel, 2020