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AHRC celebrates 10th birthday with game of Chinese whispers

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has unveiled the results of an artistic and poetic experiment to mark the organisation’s 10th anniversary.

Project instigators, Ricarda Vidal and Maria-José, a teaching fellow and a lecturer at King’s College London, took the poem Still by English poet Denise Riley and elicited the responses of 12 contemporary artists. The AHRC refers to the result, Still in Translation, as a poetic and artistic translation game. The artistic translation process sees the poem become in turns a t-shirt, a catheter bag, a plant pot, and a funeral urn.

Vidal explained: “Following the rules of Chinese Whispers, the poem was given to an artist with the commission to translate the words into imagery. The artist then passed on their image, but not the original text, to another artist. We were astonished by the results. Is it mere coincidence that the final image captures so much of the original meaning?”

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