Родной Язык/Mother Tongue is a project “about” and “in” the Soviet-era Russian gay argot/defense language.
In this project, the Soviet-era, Russian gay argot/defense language is given a name – “Tematicheskiy” language (the language for those “in the know”) – and is treated as a complete, self-sufficient, and distinct language, separate from the standard Russian. In Родная речь/Mother Tongue, the Russian gay argot/defense language is conceptualized as a cultural treasure, a national language of the Russian-speaking LGBTQ community, and as a literary language fit for formal language instruction and high culture production, including written literature and publication.
The installation of Родная речь/Mother Tongue, includes an alphabet and grammatical rules, books, and an instructional video. Workshops led by Yevgeniy Fiks are designed to introduce the students to the basic vocabulary, grammar, and usage of the Soviet-era Russian gay slang/defense language, explained in its historical context. The book titled, “Родная речь/Mother Tongue,” by Yevgeniy Fiks is published as part of the project and includes the linguistic analysis of the Tematicheskiy language (in Russian and English) and a collection of conceptual poetry written by Fiks in Tematicheskiy (with English translation).
Yevgeniy Fiks: Родная речь/Mother Tongue @Aperto Raum
Aperto Raum, Sophienstraße 21, 2/3 Sophie-Gips-Höfe 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Opening & English Performance: 27 October 2018, 6 pm
Перформанс на Русском языке: 16.00, 28е октября
Exhibition: 28 October – 3 December 2018
**Text & Picture by Aperto Raum