Mirtha Dermisache’s artist’s books and myriad works on paper all sparkle with the suggestion of glyphs and characters that we might be able to discern if we only had the right key to crack their code. Yet, ultimately, none are legible. The under-known Argentinian artist, who passed away in 2012, always referred to her pieces as “writings.” Does it matter if we can’t read them?
Dermisache titled and grouped her works according to their easily recognizable formatText, Book, Letter, Sentence, and so forthand all play with the architecture of language through invented lexical and syntactical structures. They’ve long been cited as visual poetry and as asemic writing (though to say they are entirely without meaning or any semantic content is off). In 1971, Roland Barthes noted the “extreme intelligence of the theoretical problems related to writing” of Dermisache’s art “as
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