September 12 – October 13, 2016
Mother Tongue, an 80 minute film created in 2016, is a linguistic journey down the Danube River exploring the intersections and boundaries of identity, place and time. The film explores attitudes towards neighbors, outsiders and borders within the Danube River Basin – from its German headwaters to the Romanian and Ukrainian delta. It gives voice to the nine major languages spoken along the river: German, Slovak, Hungarian, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Russian. While the Danube has served as an agent of separation between tribes, ideologies and empires, its flow also encompasses all of the people in its watershed without discrimination: non-objectively. This non-objectification, in contrast to the specific qualities that make us belong to a group or excluded from it, is part of the Mother Tongue story.
In addition to the film, the CAG exhibition will include Efremoff’s 10 minute performance video documentation, Crossing the Danube, in which the simple act of swimming across this river symbolizes the crossing of a linguistic, cultural and political boundary while negating its discriminatory properties.
Ted Efremoff, born in Moscow, Russia, is a cross-disciplinary artist engaged with performance, video, installation and social practice. Spurred by his personal interest in social justice, he envisions collaborative activity as an instrument that builds critical relationships between people. His art explores the personal and cultural constraints ingrained within prevailing political, economic, and social power structures. Efremoff’s work has been presented nationally and internationally. Shows include: the Museum of American Art in Philadelphia; Free Speech TV; Gongju National Museum in South Korea; The National Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia; The National Palace of Culture in Sofia,Bulgaria. His work is in the collections of the Sound Museum of Rome, The Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts and the Culture House of Bad Sobernheim, Germany.