10 August 2012

IAE, technical journalism or art form?

My previous post included a link to a fascinating article on international art English, or IAE.

Translators and other readers of this blog may be able to decide whether they want to read the whole article after considering the challenges presented by translating passages such as those below. Certainly a translator facing a job with IAE or some variant as the source language will be thrilled to read the detailed analysis.

IAE sampler
- X causes an immediate confusion between the space of retail and the space of subjective construction
- Y will unfold his ideas beyond the specific and anecdotal limits of his Paris experience to encompass a more general scope, a new and broader dimension of meaning
- questioning the division between inside and outside in the Western sacred space (the venue was a former church) to highlight what is excluded in order to invest the sanctum with its spatial purity. Pieces of cement, wire, refrigerators, barrels, bits of glass and residues of ‘the sacred,’ speak of the space of the exhibition hall … transforming it into a kind of ‘temple of confusion’
- the field of the real the parafictional has one foot
- Through an expansive practice that spans drawing, sculpture, video, and artist books, Kim contemplates a world in which perception is radically questioned. His visual language is characterized by deadpan humor and absurdist propositions that playfully and subversively invert expectations. By suggesting that what you see may not be what you see, Kim reveals the tension between internal psychology and external reality, and relates observation and knowledge as states of mind.

... starting to get the idea?

The last couple of sentences bring us full circle, or almost, back to this blog. They read: When we sense ourselves to be in proximity to something serious and art related, we reflexively reach for subordinate clauses. The question is why. How did we end up writing in a way that sounds like inexpertly translated French?
Indeed! I could not have said it better myself.
... which suggests that IAE probably translates more readily into the Romance languages than into a Scandinavian or Asian language.

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