Group Show: Catching the Word

Image: Adam Niklewicz, Triptych, mixed media, 2007 / ©Adam Niklewicz The May 2007 editions of Art in America, Artnews and Artforum magazines are turned into fully functional kaleidoscopes. All visuals from the review section were removed from each of the publications, shredded into confetti, and fed back into the kaleidoscopes.

Image: Adam Niklewicz, Triptych, mixed media, 2007 / ©Adam Niklewicz
The May 2007 editions of Art in America, Artnews and Artforum magazines are turned into fully functional kaleidoscopes. All visuals from the review section were removed from each of the publications, shredded into confetti, and fed back into the kaleidoscopes.

Press Release / February 1 - March 8, 2008

FEATURED ARTISTS

Joe Amrhein     Adam Niklewicz 
David Baskin    John Plowman 
Jane Benson    Bob+Roberta Smith 
AJ Bocchino     Matt Lawrence Stafford
Isidro Blasco     Michael Van den Besselaar
Vitaly Komar

For this group exhibition Black and White Gallery // Chelsea has brought together a selection of text based works under the title Catching The Word. The title refers to the way participating artists use text to challenge the passive nature of traditional art-viewing by engaging the viewers as active participants in the exchange of information. By means of diverse mediums, these artists transmit messages whose task is to establish a specific relationship between a sender (artist) and a receiver (viewer).

In some instances messages are in the form of easily accessible short utterances reminiscent of SMS text messages. Though presented as absolute truths cast in resin, photographed, printed, or inscribed on a canvas, they are used not to impose a finite meaning on viewers but to share meaning through viewers’ own personal reflection. 

In other instances, language appears less accessible and no longer used for open communication between a sender and a receiver. Since these types of messages are less likely to be deciphered, they are thus protected from outside eyes. It turns out to be a way for senders to exclude all those receivers who will not understand the message. Language is no longer a means of communication but, conversely, a limit that can be perceived by a viewer as the experience of rejection and by a sender as guarding his private space. Unlike a relationship imbued with conviviality and mutual understanding, these works explore what happens on the dark side, when the equilibrium teeters.

Catching The Word’s goal is to test how instrumental words and language are in affecting the notion of cultural and social “territories" and the relationship individuals construct with their environment, private or shared space.