Anne Beresford, Judith Braun, Luka Branfman-Verissimo, Cynthia Daignault, Taylor Davis, Kim Faler, Rochelle Feinstein, Fernanda Fragateiro, Dana Frankfort, Tamara Gayer, Meg Hitchcock, Katherine Hubbard, Joyeux Janson, Anna K.E., Susan Lipper, Nyeema Morgan, Kay Rosen, Amanda Ross-Ho, Carrie Schneider, Allyson Strafella
September is pleased to present Out of Line.
The ancient Roman practice of rhetoric began with a simple task: how many ways can you phrase a sentence? The purpose of this exercise was to teach clarity, also known as; do you understand what I’m saying? The order that a word is written on a page or hung in the air is a powerful inflection, distorting or elucidating, accentuating or diminishing.
The rules of structure and grammar that we assign to language can be mysterious or willfully ignored. A misspelled paragraph might give an appearance of weakness, of defective or uneducated wielding of language, but also imposes a power over the reader who must discern what is being communicated. A reader struggles at the hands of the writer either in the good faith of seeking understanding, or the stubborn need to achieve comprehension.
When a word is depicted spatially, it is given new context by material and place. A photograph of a posted sign suggests the intimacy and serendipity of the shared world, a point of contact between the author of the words and the photographer who encountered them. An artist’s writing on the wall suggests protest and defiance, or prophesy. Broadsides or magazine covers become a template for the artist to subvert, hitching new meaning to different kinds of authority from the historical to the banal. The familiarity of these forms can precede the words themselves, are recognizable and innate without the presence of actual language. how do we process our relationship to it? How do we read the absence of text: blotted lines in the shape of sentences, typed underscores on carbon paper, blank space around words?
Out of Line is a breakdown, a mutiny of order/s. Here language is re-formed, communication is re-routed, and meaning is re-made.