Nora Turato

born 1991, Zagreb, Croatia
lives in Amsterdam

Nora Turato’s series of solo performances during the closing days of FRONT 2022 emerges from the artist’s ongoing exploration of the voice. They are precise verbal barrages, monologues of spoken-word intensity that travel through the range of human emotions—offering poignancy, aggression, and self-reflexivity at once. Culled from sources across online and offline media, the monologues are highly scripted and yet can give the sense of associative narratives that follow a stream-of-consciousness flow between multiple actors and dramatis personae.

Turato was trained originally as a graphic designer, an approach that informs her structuring of language and its communicative delivery. The work is also rooted in the artist’s biography: growing up in the wake of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, the artist witnessed the disjunction of a societal collapse firsthand. This, coupled with the artist’s experience of her mother’s struggles with mental health, underlies her radical approach to language. As Turato remarked in conversation, “What I do is not so different from my mother’s outbursts—but my work happens within the frame of art.”

By siting Turato’s performances at the Samson Pavilion at the CWRU Health Education Campus, Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows contextualized the work within the tradition of narrative and mental health while also taking advantage of the architecture’s powerful spatial characteristics. This move also contrasts the vividness and power of a lone human voice with the expansive building and the learning technology it contains. Connecting to FRONT 2022’s throughline of speaking with power, these performances evoke the power of the artist’s voice to bring about internal and external transformations.

Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic

Nora Turato, What Is Dead May Never Die, 2022, Supported by the Case Western Reserve University, Putnam Fund.

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