‘The Sculpture of Language’ Tate Liverpool

One of the main attractions for visiting Liverpool was to go to Tate Liverpool and see the Rene Margritte show. However there is currently another show at the Tate that caught my attention. Carol Anne Duffy the Poet Laureat has curated a show exploring the different ways artist’s have engaged with language through their own art. I thought this was a really good show. Her own background as a poet gave a slightly different angle on already very well known art works. The link with language and the object provided an even more interesting insight into my own research, whereas I have mainly focused on finding visual equivalents to verbal language in a more painterly or 2 dimensional understanding.

Ewa Partum, a polish artist and one of the early figures of conceptual art and feminist art caught my attention with her film ‘Active Poetry’ 1971. In the film she cut letters from a page of fragments from James Joyce’s novel Ulysse’s. The public were encouraged to collect random letters from the pages to form words and phrases in an act of ‘linguistic liberation’.  Ewa Partum re enacted this in the Tate Turbine Hall in 2006. I find this really interesting as I have been looking into the possibility of using parts of Ulysse’s to form a word piece, partly in response to Joyce’s tables of codes and colours that represent and aided him to construct the novel.  Below are three stills taken from the show:

A Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board by Evert Collier, 1699 was another piece that really surprised me. I did not know anything about Evert Collier and I was struck by how modern this painting looked. 
A Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board (1699), 58.8 × 46.2 cm
Rodney Graham’s White Shirt for Mallarmé Spring 1993 was a piece that I really liked. The white shirt made to accompany the reading of Mallarmé’s poem The Demon of Analogy.
White Shirt (for Mallarmé) Spring 1993  1992
Mixed media
object: 80 x 535x 410
I also really liked Richard Long’s Two straight twelve mile walks on Dartmoor, 1980 (above) and Starlit Waters by Ian Hamilton Finlay 1967 (below).

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