9 February - 8 May 2022
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Artist Anouk Kruithof is fascinated by dance as a form of self-expression and empowerment. And for Universal Tongue she researched how dance has developed throughout history as part of our global media culture, and how dance manifests itself on social media platforms. Together with a team of 52 researchers from around the world, Anouk collected more than 8,800 dance videos that could be found on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Each entered the same search terms, and because of their different geographic locations, the researchers ended up with different search results – varying from the abakúa from Cuba and the Argentine tango to the Zimbabwean sungura and the zwiefacher from Germany.
Photo: Vincent Basler
In total, Anouk and her team found 1,000 dance styles in 196 countries and selected some 250 hours of dance videos. In the video installation Universal Tongue, Kruithof shows that dance is actually a universal language, spoken by different subcultures, distributed virally and travelling across all cultural boundaries.
‘When you look past all the cultural differences, you see that really everyone gets so much energy from dancing with their bodies. That is something that connects people and I think that is beautiful.’ – Anouk Kruithof