Louise Stern’s Eruption is a video triptych which depicts a volcanic eruption displayed on two screens. In the centre, a performer - Jonathan Hall Kovacs - uses sign language to express the audio and visual experience of the eruption. The work is an embodied physical and emotional eruption expressed through an unspoken, unwritten language.
Stern was born deaf to an exclusively deaf community (fourth generation deaf on her father’s side, and third generation on her mother’s side). In her work, she uses various forms of language to explore communication and isolation, and saw in literature and visual language a way to investigate and liberate. Eruption is a visceral depiction of an abstract experience; the work highlights the complexity and beauty of meaning transmitted outside of sound or speech.