Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Words are punny
John Wilkes Booth, 1987
I’ve seen only one Kay Rosen piece in a gallery, and I thought it was ho-hum; a drawing that read “swords” with the s written differently.
But, I am attracted to photographs of her wall texts and paintings. Partly because I get them - and that always makes me feel smart - and partly because I enjoy their graphic quality. They’re simple, at best deceivingly, at worst overly.
From what I gather, she’s playing with the contrast between reading and seeing. The work depends on the tension between what happens visually - by mirroring words, juggling letters, or repeating - and what the words represent when read.
If you wanted to get heady about it, you could just turn to Julie Kristeva. “[The work is] presyntactical and prelogical …[in] a verbal code dominated by the two axes of metaphor and metonymy.”
But, what I enjoy about it all is that it's immediately un-heady.
Hello Again, 2006