Romance was especially conceived on occasion of Manifesta 11. The sound work consists of a two-part audio recording, created at a live translation session: in response to Ceal Floyer’s reading of the English text of a standard prenuptial agreement which a woman and a man in simultaneous translation booths translated into French and Italian respectively. The work plays on the double meaning of the word “romance” which connotes wooing and sentiment but, with an upper case R, designates modern languages such as French, Italian or Spanish that are based on Vulgar Latin, the popular and colloquial version of Latin spoken by soldiers, settlers, and merchants of the Roman Empire.
The term "translation" describes the linguistic and cultural mediation of one language into another. The work of a translator consists not only in providing a translation but also in elucidating the social conventions that are intrinsic to linguistic expressions. CeaI Floyer is fascinated by what gets 'lost in translation', moments when linguistic and cultural incongruities lead to misunderstandings. The simultaneous rendition of the two Romance languages results in the playful and absurd failure of this semantic relationship.