The Art of Translation 

is an exhibition that emphasizes the translator as a living individual and the translation as a work by the translator.


The exhibition aims to raise the public’s awareness of translators and translations –which are generally only taken notice of when a mistranslation forces an interpreter or translator into the limelight. Very few people realize that more translations are read each day than original texts – be it at work, in ads, in product information, in the news, etc. This exhibition hopes to contribute toward changing current attitudes about translation – and it’s meeting with great approval in the translator community. The European Commission has already expressed its interest in hosting the exhibition at the European Day of Languages on September 26 in Brussels.

 The Art of Translation invites visitors to ask themselves questions about authorship and about solutions to the difficulties faced during the translation process. Visitors will become acquainted with insolvability, an issue confronting translators on a daily basis – and one that demands a solution.

 Viewers who accept this invitation will become a part of the exhibition – whether by changing their physical vantage point, solving a riddle or contributing to the translation of a novel, among other activities.

 The art pieces are a collection of completely different contributions. The pieces were initiated by me, but most of them were completed by people who have no connection to the language industry or translation community. The individuals took my idea and interpreted it in their own way, using their own knowledge and skills. The results always amazed me, because they always turned out completely differently than I expected. And this diversity made the results all the more fascinating. It would start with a dialog – with the person absorbing an idea that would then naturally be influenced by the person’s own thoughts, ultimately manifesting itself as something that can no longer be considered mine.

 That is how the exhibition has expanded and continues to grow, enhanced through diversity. And this diversity, when coupled with a person’s own ideas, is no longer unfamiliar. While the unfamiliar is often perceived as a threat, diversity represents tolerance and enrichment – a point that is captured in Exhibit 8, a pair of children’s shoes that illustrate how each step is a step into the world beyond our own perception and imagination. These are crucial steps when viewed in the light of increasing internationality (see “Facts”).

 The exhibition is sure to change the viewers, whether they realize it or not.  After all, aren’t we all the sum of what we’ve unconsciously observed?

 Mona Leone