Las Lenguas, BBQLA, Los Angeles (June 9–July 21, 2018)

June 9–July 21, 2018

The Spanish word lengua means both tongue (speech) and language (system of communication), it refers to the muscular organ that is part of the mouth, is it a biological element of the body that allows for the transmission of dialogue. Tongues are our bodies and our bodies are a tongue. There is no speech without the tongue and no language without tongues.

A tongue is bitten, silenced, vocalized, and it can bless or it can curse. The tongue can taste and swallow, it can kiss and it can lick. The tongue can heal or it can burn. Tongues are cut as punishment for lies or tortured from betrayal. The tongues of cows are eaten in tacos and other dishes, and tongues are used in magic spells. Sometimes they are called malas lenguas (bad tongues), as in derogatory speech. Tongues complete sentences or they remain silent. The tongue itself remains relatively concealed, mostly unnoticed, unconsciously functioning like the breath, or quietly and unassumingly destroying people and nations with its enormous, self-effacing power.

Las Lenguas is an exhibition about the potential languages of the body. It presents works that explore the representation of the figure by way of its inaudible gestures of expression. It asks to observe the nuance of a lover, of a stranger, the alienation of a foreign language, and the failures of both the voice and the body to translate into distinguishable codes of associations. Las Lenguas are presences whose capabilities figuratively translate through the mysterious shapes made by the body to reveal or conceal interior and exterior worlds in which it exists.

The exhibition will feature works by Manny Castro, Alan Gutierrez, Yaron Michael Hakim, Shaun Johnson, Sofía Londoño, Jesse Mockrin, Nora Riggs, Ellen Schafer, and Hiejin Yoo. Las Lenguas is organized by Gladys-Katherina Hernando.

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, please email

BBQLA is a migrating installation conceived by Timo Fahler, Thomas Linder, and Adam Beris. BBQLA hosts creative programs in various locations based on a collective agreement and curated by either the BBQLA team or through collaborative efforts.

BBQLA: 2315 Jesse Street Los Angeles, California 90023



All above images: Installation view of “Las Lenguas,” BBQLA, Los Angeles, June 9–July 21, 2018, Photos by Jeff McLane.


All above images: “Las Lenguas,” BBQLA, Los Angeles, June 9–July 21, 2018, Photos by Jeff McLane.

Image: Mahavidya Bagalamukhi Pulls The ‘Evil Tongue’, c. 1850, Kalighat painting on paper, source unknown.