New York

Rammellzee

Gallozzi-LaPlaca Gallery/Stellweg-Séguy Gallery

Ralph Waldo Emerson considered hieroglyphs, Ezra Pound went back to pictograms, William Burroughs rethought collage. Periodically, theorists have proclaimed their dissatisfaction with tainted language, dreaming instead of an ideal storm of communication that would heal the breach between visual and verbal. Perhaps the myth is indivisible from the entire project of American Modernism: to locate a concept of the avant-garde within the myth of the Fall, promoting a fiction of the embattled artist as Adamic exile. Restoring the communication system of a supposed prelapsarian age underlies Rammellzee’s thinking also. He traces the tribulations of “the letter” back to 1582, when bishops finally stopped monks from practicing calligraphy, and before that to ninth-century Constantinople and its iconoclasts. Because language has taken control, he says, order can be wrested back only by restoring

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