Words: Text in Art January 24th -February 24th 2019
Curated by Jicky Schnee
I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.
Why does an artist use text in art? To further expression? To lay bare the banal or hypocritical? Word play, political and social commentary and activism, subversion of advertising, and referencing and appropriation of form are just some of the reasons artists incorporate text in art.
Today words are ever more frequently used to intentionally mislead and dissemble and even to lie. Richard Stengel, the US State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy, recently said that the problem that has been worrying him and should worry us all is that, “it’s not an information war. It’s a war on information. And in a global information war, how does the truth win?” In this environment, how long will words continue to maintain their implicit power?
The author of Generation X Douglas Coupland has said, “I have always thought of words as art supplies”. Though he intended this in reference to his own use of words as a writer, contemporary artists take words or text and use them as just this, art supplies. This show examines an artist’s use of words and language within a variety of media and --like the boy who cried wolf-- questions the assumption that words will always maintain their implicit value.