New York

“Character Generator”


For this group exhibition, Matthew Lyons, a curator from the Kitchen in New York, gathered a collection of nearly all black-and-white works by nine artists undertaking a range of poetic and political challenges to the orderly system of language—what Roland Barthes saw as its inherent fascism. Exploring terrain connected to that charted by figures such as Mel Bochner and Robert Barry in the 1960s, several artists here examined moments in which communication seems too rigid or fixed in its meaning, or where it otherwise breaks down and exposes its own flaws. A few pieces appeared hostile to the ways in which language prioritizes or structures reality, and stood out in their aversions toward its supposedly straightforward communicative capacity.

Among exemplars of the latter approach was Karl Holmqvist’s I’m with You in Rockland, 2005, which offered a paradigmatic disintegration of sense,

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