Enheduanna Lost in Translation
Sound/installation. Work in progress. Enheduanna, priestess and poet from around 2250 BCE, might be the earliest author known by name, and she wrote in Sumerian, a language that is now extinct. There is something sad about a language that is no longer spoken. Once people expressed themselves through it, every day in their everyday lives, and now both they and their words are gone. There is something optimistic about trying to make sense of things you don’t understand, even when you don’t always get it right and when the message is distorted along the way. At the same time projecting your own expectations on something you don’t understand can be quite misleading and a way of exerting power, in this case of over the interpretation of the past. In this project I asked people to translate part of Enheduanna’s most famous work through Google Translate, using a different language as the source, and to find something meaningful in the result and record it. These voices tell a very different story to Enheduanna’s.