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Nothing To Say, 2007

Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan

hand cut adhesive shelf paper on painted wall

27' x 8'

NOTHING TO SAY is a vertical column of images hand-cut from densely overlapping layers of adhesive shelf paper and installed in the atrium space of the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.  The images that I have cut from the colorfully patterned paper are based on my anthropomorphic alphabet, in a configuration forming the phrase NOTHING TO SAY, reading down in pairs of letters from top to bottom. 

 

My anthropomorphic alphabet was inspired by an encounter with writer Samuel Delany during my year of residency as a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities in 1992-93.  Our discussions, and his offer to model for me, led to years of work reflecting on the complex relation between the experiential, embodied world and the language we use to describe it.  Delany’s portly bearded silhouette is vaguely recognizable throughout the mural.