Mercedes-Benz Financial Services

Benjamin Santiago

MFA 2016 (Emerging Artist Award Winner)

troh-seht whah-zhej ee-woon-doo-zha-mah ah-yoo-ohb

Spaundou (language), embroidered work suit, modified broom, 2016, dimensions vary

I am half Puerto Rican and half Filipino but was never taught Spanish or Tagalog. Because of this, I’ve always experienced language as a kind of landscape of sounds first. My language, Spaundou (pronounced “SPAWN-doo”), is a way of recreating this experience for the audience. Spaundou is not a simple remapping of sounds to meanings, like pig Latin. It is a sincere attempt to understand how language creates and changes meaning. Spaundou is expressed in musical and comedic performances that create familiar experiences, which contrast with the confusion of not understanding the language.

Benjamin Santiago - troh-seht whah-zhej ee-woon-doo-zha-mah ah-yoo-ohb

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