Middling English

First show: 2010
Location: Joh Hansard Gallery, Southampton

Elements: 1 headphone piece, 2 sited soundworks, 2 vinyl text on walls, 1 wall of broadsides, 1 architectural structure, 4 hanging weights, 4 broadsides. Broadsides could be taken by audience.

Adam Parkinson: Soundwork, spatial sound design |  Zahra Mani: Soundwork “Personal Cropper” | DvsN & John Hansard Gallery team: Architectural structure | Alex Prokop: Broadside design | Nicolas Rowe: reading |


Middling English investigates modes of writing from the printed letter to a loose realm of audio, graphic, kinetic and perceptual writing and reading environments. The exhibition brings together multi-sensory elements – spoken pieces, audiophonic compositions, printed broadsides. Textual works combine Chaucerian contemporaneity with bilingual audioworks and the persistent memory world of pop lyrics.

This is the first installation in which I explored various aspects of historic English. Some pieces introduced here are later explored as independent projects : 1DJ2MANY, CROP and the text sequence “Shorter Chaucer Tales” published in Meddle English.

``This show is a must-see if you’re interested in transcultural developments! ``

Sarah Thompson

Caroline Bergvall explores language as the restlesss, unstable shaper of cultures, places and identities. Every phoneme, tic and syntactical nuance in a given utterance, spoken or textual, is a potential vehicle for meaning.

Will Montgomery, The Wire

``Bergvall's austere and expertly engineered recordings create an addictive ritual out of her voice, which hypnotizes with braids of polyglot unconscious``

Christine Hume Rain Taxi

Aborder le travail de la poète contemporaine et artiste Caroline Bergvall sur le médiéval, c’est s’interroger sur l’étranger et sur la place de l’étranger dans le contemporain tout autant qu’au Moyen Âge.

Vincent Broqua,

Photos by Steve Shrimpton


15mins 06 secs. Filmed & edited by Erica Scourti. Produced by Caroline Bergvall

Justin Hopper: Performance writer Caroline Bergvall makes one of her two U.S. stops in Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh City Paper, 10 Feb 2011.

Skye Sherwin: Middling English  The Guardian, 4 Sept 2010.

Sarah Thompson: This show is a must-see if you’re interested in transcultural developments!  Transjuice art blog. 22 Sept 2010

Vincent Broqua: Aux Limites de la Traduction : Caroline Bergvall Le Matricule des Anges, no. 114, juin 2010 – PDF

Will Montgomery: Middling English Feature
in The Wire: Adventures In Modern Music. Cross Platform feature. #358 (June 2011) –