Josh Clendenin

Image Courtesy of  Michael Reinhart


Folamh (blank) addresses my language insecurity as a polyglot (i.e., multilingual speaker) as I try to communicate to a spectator sitting with me in the context of a date. As I struggle to find the words surrounding me and piece them together, my linguistic insecurity heightens and a shared awkwardness develops between us. This shared awkwardness mounts and anxiety ensues, as we wrestle for understanding through a language barrier.


My work focuses on the somatic experience of a multilingual body and how that translative space between languages creates a grey area in the world of linguistic identity where speaking a language can make you an outsider. This freedom from a fixed linguistic identity allows for movement on the linguistic barrier which also creates a space where anxieties and awkward translations can thrive. My work dances on this free yet constraining barrier exploring how language is experienced somatically.


American theatre artist, and educator Josh Clendenin impulsively plays with languages. The hunt for linguistic colour in the primarily monolingual landscape of his home state of Utah inspired him to learn both French, Irish and to investigate other languages. His passion for French and theatre lead him to earn a BA in both and teach them as well. The exploration of the somatic expression of languages was inspired by his yoga practice and was developed further for his MFA thesis in theatre practice at the University of Alberta. Josh continues to perform multilingually in many forms from his current Edmonton base.