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Anna Barham, Arena, 2011, wood and MDF, 3' 3 3/8“ x 13' 11 3/8” x 13' 11 3/8".

Anna Barham

Galerie Nordenhake | Stockholm

Anna Barham, Arena, 2011, wood and MDF, 3' 3 3/8“ x 13' 11 3/8” x 13' 11 3/8".

Using anagrams, Anna Barham has created a seemingly endless language network that riffs off the enigmatic words “Return to Leptis Magna”; the resulting phrases trail off into the nonsensical—“Repaint Lost Argument”—or just as often produce still enigmatic yet more resonant mutterings: “Interrupt Tonal Games,” for example. Occasionally there are phrases that appear to reflect on the network itself, e.g., “Patrol Strange Muttering.” Barham’s approach is an elastic hybrid of Sol LeWitt’s 1974 Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes and the playful nonsense poetry Hugo Ball performed at the Cabaret Voltaire. She is eclectic, ranging from installations to sculpture to artists’ books—the work on view here was a reading from her 2010 book Return to Leptis Magna. The ancient Roman city in the title provides a fuzzy touchstone for her practice. Now a magnificent ruin in modern

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