The Language of Space (2010)

September 23 – December 15, 2010 — ligne roset (New York, NY)

Participating Artists: Silvina Arismendi, Erin Beaver, Tom DeLaney, Steve Ellis, Gianfranco Foschino, Peter Hoang, Yoko Inoue, Hidenori Ishii, Mike Nemire, Leah Raintree, Brian Wondergem, d. yee, and Andrew Zarou.

The habits of mind that our culture has instilled in us from infancy shape our orientation to the world and our emotional responses to the objects we encounter…

–Guy Deutscher, “Does Language Shape How You Think?” New York Times, Aug. 26, 2010

Deutscher here describes how one's “mother tongue” deeply influences fundamental thought processes in ways we are only beginning to understand. As a primary empirical example, he points to a language that operates differently from a typical “egocentric coordinate” system, which is “based directly on our own bodies and our immediate visual fields” to explicate directions. This other geographic system, which uses cardinal directions, reveals a very different way that people intuitively move through and perceive the world.

The artists selected for this exhibition can similarly be said to operate differently as they mine alternate geographies of perception. Each utilizing their own vocabulary of visual elements, they frame and reconfigure space in a manner that typically counterbalances direct experience. These internalized and intuitive artistic practices result in objects that hint at underlying thought processes of high intentionality. Displayed as a spectrum of manipulations from the most abstract propositions to more figurative ones – influenced by cultural and even environmental factors, intersecting the physical and metaphysical – the show raises the possibility that the objects these specific artists create, conversely, respond to our emotions and orientation to the world to contravene or to supplant certain habits of mind.

The Language of Space was part of the series ‘The Real LR Word,’ organized by Cottelston Advisors and sponsored by ligne roset, and which attempted to show that displaying art in a real life setting is even more compelling than the fiction of a gallery.