How does a word look in the moment we read it, as the shape and order of a word is mediated by our subjective experiences and expectations? What happens in our “mind’s eye” when we see the shape of a letter, read a word or think of a word? What transformation happens to meaning in the moment when a familiar word creates a thought? Does transforming a word into an idea increase chaos, detachment, or misunderstanding? Does language itself become a space between; a liminal space where, in unbounded freedom signs and the signified are embryos in a constant stage of metamorphosis? Visual artists that work with text as image are able to inhabit a space where the arbitrary, the experimental, the displaced, the disordered and the ambiguous rule. In my own work, words, numbers, phrases, dialogue, prose and poetry all become a visual language of forms and thoughts that let meaning both cling to and slide off the shapes. To investigate how language works both visually and semantically, my thesis explores the strategies of a selection of three artists — Cy Twombly, Barbara Kruger and Guy de Cointet.
Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies (LRVS)