PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Stephanie Brooks, Tania Bruguera, Anthony Elms, David Giordano, Jenny Holzer, Robert Peters, William Pope.L, Karen Reimer, Mike Schuh, and Buzz Spector.

In celebration of the grand opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, this exhibition explores the relationship between space and the signifying power of language by locating works throughout the Logan Center.

Text is a form of weaving, etymologically associated with the word textiles. Written texts weave together ideas and language. Conceptual art’s heavy reliance on the textual revealed a new vista for thinking about how we associate words and images, the senses and thought. Often these (art) texts have been placed directly on walls although not exclusively so. In any case, the introduction of language onto the surfaces of objects changes our relationship to space and art.

The figure of the Wall is often put forth as that entity which separates and divides spaces and peoples; perhaps an example most famous in recent memory would be the Berlin Wall. Today walls continue to be the site of separation and cause for debate. Text-based art invades the wall, opens it up for thought and interpretation through its interweaving of associations. The term Wall Text is thus a pairing of opposites: a method for drawing together and splitting apart; a form of communication and resistance.

Of course, Wall Text is also a particular museological phenomenon meant to provide context for works of art. Wall texts explicate an artwork’s historical trajectory and perhaps modify its raw reception. Yet what happens when the text on the wall is the art itself and provides its own context through the use of language? Does it change our relationship to images? Is the wall itself changed through language? Are there texts without language?

Curated by Zachary Cahill, Open Practice Committee Coordinator, and Monika Szewczyk, Visual Arts Program Curator, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago.