Tompkins’s work is an inquiry into language and personal expression. She is drawn to the marginal and trivial fragments of speech that are otherwise lost in the overload of everyday conversation and reading. Picking up splices of these fragments, she pulls from a collection of remote words and phrases to generate her text-based artworks and performances. By adding random movements, gestures, sentences, and implied phrases—spoken, smeared (often by hand) with paint on canvas, or as shown in the exhibition typed onto newsprint or fluorescent paper—she is able to refresh anesthetized language through recontextualization. On this evening the artist will present live one of her performative animation of language at Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien.
Sue Tompkins was born in Leighton Buzzard in 1971 and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1994. She has had solo or two-person exhibitions in numerous venues, including Glasgow International (2014), Micky Schubert, Berlin (2014), The Modern Institute, Glasgow(2013), Diana Stigter, Amsterdam (2013), Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2011), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2009), and Showroom, London (2007), among others. Tompkins has also performed at institutions and events around the world, notably the Dia Art Foundation (2011), Tate Britain (2006), and the Scottish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2005).