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The Wonderful Thing About Language, 2013

Oil on canvas mounted on eleven panels, 57” x 146”

 

This painting employs a version of my anthropomorphic alphabet to transcribe, word for word, a passage from Maurice Merleau-Ponty addressing the tension between seeing and interpretation when reading text:

 

The wonderful thing about language is that it promotes its own oblivion. My eyes follow the lines on the paper and from the moment I am caught up in their meaning I lose sight of them.

 

The painting incorporates rhythmic patterns and intervals to restructure the passage into verse. The visible repetition of units communicates the presence of encrypted and fragmented signs, even as those signs dissolve into a pulse of light and color. This is a sensorium unwilling to be emptied into meaning.  Not wanting to become Unseen.