I wanted to create a piece that examined languages role as a tool that through its expression illuminates only through a fixed aperture. The word covers experience inside the tunnel of its associative meaning. It is the stage spotlight conversely casting aside experience beyond its immediate focal boundary, into darkness. I think when one is talking of self portraiture looking at what the words; head, eye, breast, knee, ear and so forth might exclude rather than illustrate would be an interesting conversation one might have.
In reading Merleau Ponty's phenomenology I was struck by a phrase he used 'the world is the horizon of our perceptual experience'. I had been thinking about how language is constantly formulating horizons for us, communicating across known maps and plotting our course. The world of our senses is the one we know best as all we need are the senses we have to access it, nothing additional is required. We only need open our eyes and ears in order to enter and access this world. Language seems to be the final reinforcement of this immediate blind certainty of a reality we seek to assimilate as fact. Perhaps language is the collective mesh of our joint internal and external experiences, a verbal shroud across what we wish to conveniently call the real.
This seemed important to dicuss in the context of a project dealng with self, as traditionally through language we come to communicating that description. Merleau Ponty attritubed to modern art and intellectual thought the true power of addressing the actual unreality of what we take for granted. It seemed pointed to look again at addressing the illusion of self through a piece that questioned languages role in that process.
I have taken a road sign which states 'Danger Lorries Turning' and its subsequent direct symbology and the immediate unconsciously absorbed instruction and I have sought to repurpose its meaning and break that instantaneous connection with meaning. The point is to encourage exploration beyond the immediately absorbed. I have combined this with an audio extract of an ornithologist discussing the call of the Loon bird. In this audio the bird's call is discussed as both a beautiful human experience as well as a communication mechanism between the bird.
The road sign now becomes a space of multiplictious meaning. it is free of the dominance of its symbolic presentation and instruction and is now broken apart (keeping certain letters) fragmented and given a new beginning. It speaks to us be requiring us to look for words and to work to find a meaning that language itself hasn't sleep walked us into. The words found such as; nest, silent, listen, seen and sentinel still carry their own weight of meaning but their purpose has been transformed so that they now create a connection with a previously unrelated experience of a wild bird calling.
It is a piece about the connectedness of things, how the mesh of language can be traversed at seperate places and new experiences created. It seems to me the most exciting purpose of art is its duty to go beneath surfaces and to uncover and make such diverse connections.