Monday, November 30, 2009

TEXT ME UP: Lawrence Weiner





Known as one of the pioneers of the so-called Conceptual Art, Lawrence Weiner defines himself as a sculptor who uses language as expressive means. Since late 60's his work has been materialized in books, animations and songs, T-shirts, pins, tattoos, sewer covers, posters… His proposal adapts itself mainly around the linguistic material. Weiner takes language as sculptural matter to create his works, the technique that he uses to compose Under the Sun, a project conceived to the Espai d'art contemporani de Castell√≥.


Weiner considers that the linguistic construction can cause the same reaction in the audience that a conventional object since the importance of the idea is above the materialization of the work. The concept is the piece of art independent of the support that is used.

Though Weiner's work is often disarmingly eloquent, flirting even with poetry, the work of art is not the text, but rather the idea (or content) that he sets out in language: the material, movement, or transition referenced by his words. As long as the content is conveyed, a piece may be re-created in a multitude of ways: spoken, as written language, or as a built manifestation of the object or circumstances the language describes.

Weiner handles language not in an hermeneutic way but in a constructive one; he does not distinguish between nouns or verbs, between objects and actions. As he himself expresses it, in his propositions it is not indicated a determined sense: "The art that for its appreciation imposes conditions to the receiver (…) constitutes in my opinion a fascist aesthetic. My art never gives directions".

In the last two decades Weiner has carried out works and exhibitions with texts directly painted or in vinyl on walls, floors or building facades; in posters and books that he himself designs. This way, Weiner's art does not exist only as language, even it is not limited to be written on a support, but it incorporates the vagueness of meaning that can exist as spoken or in translation. Placing his works in different clearly accessible contexts he voluntarily democratises his proposal.








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