Frenulum by Henry Bradley

Frenulum by Henry Bradley

‘Frenulum’ uses techniques of theatre and song to explore the gestural politics of phonetics, group ritual, medicinal intervention, and children’s games, following a group as they perform imaginary tongue-surgery, seemingly in order to alter the speech of one of their members.

The activities draw upon an operation called a ‘lingual frenectomy’, something commonly used to decrease the effects of tongue-tie, but which has also been controversially used in specific parts of the globe to help children’s future pronunciation of certain English phonetics without scientific evidence of any correlation.

Set in a school gym littered with familiar pedagogical signifiers of adaption and transformation, the film stays within a poetic and abstract space that deals solely in gestures, choreographed movements, and phonetic song. Through this approach, the politics of inclusion and exclusion the group is engaged in is never made fully clear, and with adults evacuated from the situation, any levels of agency at play in the vocal transformation we witness are also left increasingly open to interpretation.

artwork info

HD Video / 04:00 min / 2019

Henry Bradley’s portfolio →