May 29, 2016


Curated by Pia Cruzalegui and Alba Soto

Multilingual exhibition is inspired by the power of words.

“Word” is, by definition, a single distinct conceptual unit of language, comprising inflected and variant forms.

Words convey meaning, and they come from the mind, the heart and the soul. Words can be a promise of assurance, a lie, hope or truth. Many have written: watch what you say…thoughts become words…we live and breath words…

So what happens when artists weave the visual units of a language into their works of art?



On Threshold. Alissa Chanin is a painter, poet, and Modernist literature scholar who began her practice in the dense forests and deserted streets of the Hudson Valley. Her performances, which include readings and dance constructions, stem from object-oriented prompts and language play. She currently lives and makes work in Chicago, Illinois.


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PERVERT. “When Audra Jacot first started making erotically-themed work, her mother left this comment on her Facebook page: “I’m not sending you to art school to be a pervert! Straighten up!” The artist was then tempted to go the easy route and make pretty, safe work. but decided against it and to just OWN the word, as opposed to letting it define her.
$LUT is a reaction to her experience as server at the Tilted Kilt and the preconceived notions that come with. It’s surprising the length some people will go and what they will say to feel superior to another human being; the “pay for play” mentality they feel that they are entitled to just because the women there are scantily clad. If we spoke up, we were bitches (and not getting tipped) but if we played along, we were supposedly sluts.

Audra Jacot’s work celebrates the empowerment of sexuality. With the tactility and eroticism of clay, she reflects on the idea of woman as functional vessel by creating phallocentric, yet androgynous creatures and glaze them with white, perversely elegant Majolica glaze – a faux porcelain – which renders them semen-esque. This combined with the exhibitionist quality of neon, comments on the symbiotic relationship of pornography and technology.”


grito de glaciares al quebrarse por presiones (here was never meant for you). started off as five rolls of 35 mm film. A large portion of them remained unexposed because the shutter of the photographic camera would not open every time the shutter release was pressed. The photographs that form the installation were arbitrarily curated by a faulty camera. Among the “embryonic” images that never got to exist were pictures of my life in Chicago, of the few nights I was able to spend in my home city Madrid and of my impressions after an artist residency in Oaxaca, México.

The project underlines the moments that escaped the grasp of the film and the time that is never accounted for. The sound composition is a collection of recordings from the places where the images were shot. The voice overs are daily reflections based on free associations, the idea of memory, and my attempt to recall the moments that were not retained by the camera.


The Text for Japan: March 12, 2011. “Made in response to the 8.9 earthquake (one of the largest in recorded history) and resulting tsunamis in Japan. When reading a New York Times article about the tragedy, I selected words and phrases from the article that seemed essential to the story and seemed to illicit some type of emotional response. Many words in the article appeared multiple times, as they do in the projection. I reorganized the words to emphasize the repetition and to explore the relationships between the words, often using alliteration or placing words that were similar in meaning or in the same tense next to one another. I questioned the power of the repetition and the effect it had on the reader. Does the word illicit a stronger response on its own or when repeated? Does the repetition of the word cause a desensitization and abstraction of it in the same way that we can become desensitized to images? What images come to mind upon reading these words? There were many questions to explore. This piece was one of many that examine language as an abstraction, as a story, as fact, as an emotional tool and as a response within the context of a media-saturated culture.”



The Last Word. Is a Pyrrhic victory at best because silence  and departure always follows. People try to get their last words out before death, when saying goodbye, and in argument. I’m writing a sestina poem called “The Last Word.” The lexical repetition of a sestina mimics the way we replay strong memories in our head. The six repeated words are common words that often stand on their own: word, yes, no, please, wait, and fuck.”


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Portrait of Alice B Toklas. Portrait of Alice B. Toklas is an installation about authorship and authority. Comprised of text written by Gertrude Stein either about Alice or typed up by Alice, this piece examines who is the author of our life story. 

Jennifer Chadwick works in multiple mediums to reexamine, play with, and create abstraction around the ideas of gender and identity. She has shown her work in various galleries in her native California as well as in Seattle, Washington where her art practice is centered. She is currently an MFA candidate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


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Waste Management.The piece is an experimental typography project using real coal combustion waste (coal ash) to spell out the words “Waste Management” across a roadbed made of the same coal ash in Pines, Indiana.  This piece is a reaction to the area’s severe and ongoing water plume and soil contamination issues due to the dumping of coal combustion waste products in the town’s unlined landfill and using it as road base and structural fill in the 1970s.”


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Poetics Vol. III, Chapter i. “I have a bibliophile’s deep love of language, of words both as objects and as conveyors of meaning. I love the physical structures of language: books, the printed and written page, poetic verse, letters. As a reader, these structures are symbolic of mental freedom and of power. As an artist, I constantly question these structures and their use. I wonder what language is, what is it’s role in mis/communication, and what it means to me.  My work with clay, paper, and poetry explores ideas of grief, loss, spirituality, and the ephemeral through varying modes of language. The physical objects I create using porcelain and paper are delicate and fragile. The thin clay sheets are frequently broken during the making process. Those that survive have an added sacred and precious quality. These works create a feeling of need: the need to be held carefully, close, and protected.”



Translingual Anagram. “In my current work, I am interested in means of silent communication, specifically gestures and text. I explore how silence eases or difficult the utterance, as well as the importance of time in these communication acts in order to acquire intimacy and self-knowledge.
In the weavings the pace is evoked by the way they are made and later perceived. The choice of this technique as a time consuming way of writing, evokes the time necessary to make our experiences become memories (to know ourselves) and to create close relationships with other beings. The ambiguity of the texts is given in three different ways: through the language using both Spanish, my mother tongue, and a not native English; through the content, creating sometimes nonsensical sentences product of word plays or excluding essential information; or through the visual style. All this complicates an immediate comprehension and permits each viewer think slower and deeper and find their own understanding.”

As an artist-in-residence at UnLock Hause, Mariana created a site specific piece called:

Home Safe Home

Walking around in a big city in the US, you find yourself surrounded with signals related to the dangers of the urban life, telling you to be careful as well as suspicious from anyone who looks like a possible threat. “There is no place like home” you would think.

This site-specific project explores the aesthetics of the warning sign, through  a series of indications around the household space of Unlock Hause.

Please, lock your doors.



Expiration Laboratory was born out of the necessity of exploring material. For over a year I collected my own junk mail, in (successfully) attempting to cancel subscriptions, I ended up focusing on my #1 junk mailer: AARP. This project takes the form of a lab in order to focus on process and exploration, and also micro rather than macro. AARP material does not have an answer to a question but a reflection upon life. I designed a lab identity that included my own lab notebook to document my practice, collaging AARP words in petri-dishes, substracting copy from AARP articles, putting words in 389 2×3 inch plastic bags and creating a lab identity revolving around the theme of expiration. The material has called my attention to time, its passing, and its structure, leading me to create a calendar that, rather than offer structure, just marks days lived and days left to live based on my life expectancy.”



 (jahiliyyah)ويل لل إله

Woe to a god is a poem inspired by the Islamic concept of “the state of ignorance of divine guidance” referring to the barbaric condition in which Arabs found themselves in pre-Islamic Arabia (in a non-slavic sense) prior to the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. It is based on rhythm and it is improvised.

Patricia RAIN Gianneschi , USA

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Rainbow girls. “My work is effort to bring the viewer into a space where they become open to the forces of imagination and spirit. I believe Art can transform us, or take us to a new awareness through color and form.  For me, the act of painting is an act of spiritual practice, because I enter the painting with body and mind, searching for the images as I wander through the canvas.”


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“Crisis of the Visible addresses the importance of language, autonomy, and their absence—the absence of the individual voice. My work explores subjects such as the effects of failed utopias on identity, domestic silence, invisibility as a non­effect affect. This piece is part of a bigger series exploring the visibility of voicelessness while speaking through appropriated voices, in this case a recent recording of the lecture: Maszk és önéletrajz (Mask and Autobiography) ­ K. Horváth Zsolt presenting the work of Erika Baglyas in Hungarian.”

Check the artists’ bios on our FB page!