Posts Tagged ‘words


Richard Broomhall and Maria Niro :: W O R D S – S U R F A C E

Click the image to watch an online installation/collaboration between Richard Broomhall and Maria Niro.

WORDS is an evolving moving image collaboration, exploring language, cultural context, chance and the nature of online artistic relationships. Entirely remote from one another, the two artists investigate the power of synchronicity in art. The artists never met in person, never seen the others face or heard the others voice.

Each artist takes a turn in proposing a word. Then they are to create a two minute video with original sound interpreting the proposed word. The work has to be shot in each artist’s lived environment and be a response to said environment. All images and audio must be original. There is no discussion of content or production techniques or direction. Neither watched the others work until both were finished. The videos are then composited as a diptych, with no tweaking to adjust synchronization, and is then uploaded to the internet and available for viewing world wide.

Maria is based in New York, USA and Richard is based in Bristol, UK. They don’t know where the project will go or how it will end but ask you to accompany them in finding out by checking back regularly and giving your feedback. These are links to other 3 parts of this project: FOOD , DISRUPT and BIRD


brancolina :: london : red bus

photography ©brancolina, all rights reserved


artpopulus :: barbara kruger video slideshow + quotes

Power is the most free-flowing element in society, maybe next to money, but in fact they both motor each other. And it’s everywhere. And it’s in this room right now, it’s at every dinner table, every board room, every bedroom … every social situation is rife with the consequences of power. And I feel compelled to address that, because it is the major constituent in determining what our lives feel like, what our every-days feel like, what our days and nights feel like.

Words are powerful, and we speak them every moment, so why not exercise that medium? But I’m really interested in questions more than answers. Everybody’s got answers, and I think it’s more generative and engaging for me to think about questions and to think about doubt. Not to the point that it becomes crippling and self-destructive, but it’s a definite balancing force. Power slices in lots of ways, you know. And it can deal with the inequities of money; it can deal with the inequities of color; it can deal with the inequities of gender. And how some voices have been unheard, and some faces unseen, and I’m interested in how that plays out in culture, and how it changes, and how that change changes culture, and how America is a different place now than it was thirty years ago because of those changes, and how those changes in fact become [of] global and not just national interest. But we’ve seen how the battles around difference, around sexuality, around color, around nationalism, are daily changing the character and the balance of power globally.

Pictures and words seem to become the rallying points for certain assumptions. There are assumptions of truth and falsity and I guess the narratives of falsity are called fictions. I replicate certain words and watch them stray from or coincide with the notions of fact and fiction to suggest changes, and to resist what I feel are the tyrannies of social life on a certain level.


barbara kruger :: past / present / future


BK 2

BK 3


Fragments of Barbara Kruger’s installation Past/present/future from the exhibition Taking Place at The Temporary Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam.

Barbara Kruger’s work with pictures and words addresses mass culture’s representations of power, identity and sexuality. As she has stated, “I work with pictures and words because they have the ability to determine who we are, what we want to be and what we become.” The range of Kruger’s works is broad—from photographic prints on paper and vinyl to videos, room-size installations, public commissions, printed matter, and a variety of merchandise. Using the language of direct address and words like “you,” “me,” “we,” and “they,” her works reach out into the social space of the spectator. In this installation, designed especially for the building’s largest gallery known as the Hall of Honor, Kruger wraps the floor and walls with printed texts that “speak” directly and loudly to the spectator in a chorus of voices. Her provocative, emotionally charged statements about how people regard and treat each other disrupt the decorum of a traditional museum space. Bringing the world into her work and her work into the world, she confronts stereotypes and clichés, shattering them with a rigorous critique, a generous empathy and a sharp wit. (edit from the Temporary Stedelijk museum’s website).


Cerith Wyn Evans :: installations with neon messages

After studying at Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art, Cerith Wyn Evans worked as an assistant to Derek Jarman in his early experimental film work in the 1980s. In the 1990s he began to work with sculptures and installations by using words in neon light that refer to history, philosophy and literature. The light brings out the poetry of the words, giving them the chance to truly stand out, they become etched on our minds.

In Girum Imus Nocte et Consumimur Igni, installation (2006)

'… in which something happens all over again for the very first time', installation (2006)

'Coloured Chinese lanterns', installation (2007)

“Coloured Chinese lanterns were lit in direct competition with the moonlight. Candles were placed in niches, neon tubes screwed to wooden sticks, so that distinct zones of shadows emerged. Everything had been intentionally, yet carelessly, kept in the dark. Thoughts are swimming in these thousand light-moods, the night lasting longer today. Brutal patterns are appearing and cellars flooding. In a house of god, kilometre-long corridors have been built. When you enter such corridors that consist entirely of hard-reflecting stone, you get drunk from the echoes. Inside another house, everything meets your expectation. You are being shown around to admire. Suddenly you find a letter from your mother. She begs you to sacrifice yourself for your country. With it you will be left completely alone. There is fog everywhere thanks to the fog-machines which had been set up.”

Cerith Wyn Evans visited Japan in August 2010 for the opening of the inaugural Aichi Triennale, for which his neon text piece 299 792 458 m/s (2004/10) beams a cryptic, cosmic message from the rooftop of an office building in downtown Nagoya. ART iT did an interview with the artist about the relationship with language and his work.

ART iT: You are known for frequently citing literary texts in your works, transforming them into Morse code in the case of your ongoing series of programmed Chandeliers or using fragments of text as the basis for neon signs, for example. Thinking about your works in relation to the context of literature, do you consider them to be a form of translation?

CWE: That’s a hugely loaded question for me. Yes, I do – in the sense that I’ve been investigating theories of translation for as long as I can remember. English is not my first language, Welsh is. To that extent, the entire balance of meaning is predicated for me on the process of translation. Not only is it a kind of mediating force between two separate languages, the very prefix “trans,” as “otherness,” is absolutely central considering that I have worked with many codes and forms of languages and sublanguages. If a translation is to be understood as a slave to the master text, then it has to be sensitive in a way that is deeply creative. My favorite theoretician of translation is Martin Prinzhorn, a former pupil of Noam Chomsky’s and now a structural linguistics expert at the University of Vienna, he wrote a short text about my work in relation to theories of translation when I did a solo exhibition at Kunsthaus Graz in 2007. We spent many days together talking about it, arguing about it, trying to articulate what that relation is. The question of the future of translation is very interesting to me because language is a constantly evolving source of communication between people. I’m not a cynic or a pessimist in this respect, but I do think that forms of communication have changed irrevocably in the past 20 years. We are constantly mediated thorough information technologies that have changed the fundamental structure of what it is to communicate and to speak to another person.

ART iT: It seems that before the age of communication technology as it’s understood now, the issue with translation was mostly the idea of the translator as traitor – “traduttore, traditore” – and the impossibility of a true translation. Would you say that the traitor now is the very media of communication?

CWE: I think I know the territory that you’re speaking around. Most people want to be loved, and a very tender form of accurate communication is to ask these very sensitive, very subjective questions. “Do you love me?” is a huge question. Now, as far as I’m concerned, that’s bound up with very primal forms of communication. Because you actually have to vocalize and enter into the space of language in order to be able to speak, how do you translate that? There are many forms of non-spoken language that are also language. I don’t mean just music, dance, architecture. There are many ways to actually communicate without using written or spoken language. There’s intimacy for instance. That’s language too. The mediamatic has existed since language has been written. I think Gutenberg is a mediation that is an absolute ur-betrayal, if you like. The historical development of religious texts is what put a space between communication and the medium that was possible to employ. I don’t want to feel cynical and depressed about the fact that there is less availability. I’m an enormous fan of all sorts of people who are deeply cynical like Guy Debord. I’m a great admirer of the script for his film In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (1978), and have referenced it many times. I think it’s an extraordinary, brilliant and super passionate text, which borrows Latin paradigm ‘we go round in circles and get consumed by the night’. But I think there are points at which we should remain optimistic about the moment of communication that can, for instance, communicate compassion. I’m not so technical in and around language. I’m actually very emotional in and around it. Can you imagine not being able to speak? There is a great architectural theorist, Mark Cousins, who works at the Architectural Association in London. In the mid-1990s he described an exhibition of mine as being so perplexing that it was like the experience of a deaf man staring at the radio. I took that as a compliment, not because I want to be willfully obscure, but because I want to engage in the territory where radical, new forms of communication are possible. Marcel Duchamp says that you are not looking at the object, the object is looking at you.

'Visibleinvisible', installation (2006)


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