ART/Virtual Galleries
"On Language"
Through August 31st

Minus Space has launched their first online group exhibition, "On Language," featuring the work of artists Soledad Arias, Richard Kostelanetz, Juan Matos Capote, and Manfred Mohr.

"On Language" explores these New York City-based artists' broad interpretation of language in their work, including their use of letters, numbers, symbols, words, texts, languages, writing, sound, speech, binary code, and sensory experiences.

Argentinean artist Soledad Arias uses language to shift reality through psychological/sensory experiences.

She explains: "Sight: When I visualize a word I hear sound. Its sonorities trigger spatial resonances in myself. Sound: Understanding of an idea permeates me with a sense of awe, a dissolution of limits in the face of new form. Touch: I provoke a shift in time, delay enhances the perception of emotional meaning.

"Physical interaction: The siting of text in the environment adds to words (language) a physical dimension stretching the boundaries of our sensory/psychological experience."

Artist Richard Kostelanetz was born and raised in New York City. He uses letters, numbers, symbols, sounds, words, and texts to create work in multiple media.

He explains: "Having begun as a writer, initially of essays and then of books, which I continue to do, I've made art reflecting my professional origins, first with visual poems and minimal fictions for printed pages.

"Later I put language on larger sheets of paper...I thought about alternative materials for literary forms, making poems entirely of numerals, and fictions wholly of line-drawings whose sequences would suggest a narrative.

"Then I made audiotapes and videotapes entirely of words, followed by wholly literary holograms and films…I produced audiotapes entirely about the sound of a certain thing: the language of prayer, New York City, baseball, the sound of Hebrew."

Hailing from the Canary Islands, Spain, artist Juan Matos Capote uses onomatopeic structures to link sounds, language and images.

About his work, he says: "I began to use language some years ago when I began to place onomatopoeic texts, that is, written sounds, onto the surfaces of monochromatic canvases…metaphorically, I was listening for a response, wishing for a conversation, as if I was with someone...these onomatopoeias were taken from comics that depicted people sounding pleasure [in print] while having sex. This let me begin to concentrate on the [mixture of the] visual and aural, in consciously mixing the spectator's senses when [they experience the work].

"I also use sentences in my work with the purpose of leading the spectator, or suggesting a [mental/physical] sensation…like when I paint it smells of roses on a rose pink canvases, or when I paint Listen: or the text Once upon a time,, stressing the narrative."

Lastly, German-born artist Manfred Mohr uses binary language to create ever-evolving works in digital media. He states: "The semiotic aspect of my work is an important part of my art, visually and content-wise. The complex structure of an n-dimensional hypercube (on which my work has been based for 30 years) is a rich source of material to create and develop signs.

"Since they are created within the rational structure of computer programming, my work is fundamentally an algorithmic art. All signs refer only to themselves and their content is the history of their creation.

"My work incorporates a sequential flow in time and relationships among elements, which gives it the characteristics of a musical language. I therefore describe my art in many instances as 'visual music'."

[Shown: “you are here”, (2002)
Intervention/installation, neon sign, words, timer: 5 seconds on, 5 seconds fades down, 5 seconds fades up. Installation on 42nd Street, Times Square, NYC. Soledad Arias]

About this gallery: Minus Space is an online curatorial and critical project. Minus Space's physical gallery will open in Brooklyn, NY, in 2004.

Minus Space presents the best reductive, concept-based art, including work in painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, video, new media, performance art, architecture, and design.

Reductive, concept-based work is characterized by its use of plainspoken materials, monochromatic or limited color, geometry and pattern, repetition and seriality, precise craftsmanship, and intellectual rigor.

Find out about other art events, in the August 2004 issue of "Arte Six".