Artist: Lawrence Weiner
Venue: Alfonso Artiaco, Naples
Exhibition Title: Just Before
Date: February 16 – March 31, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Alfonso Artiaco, Naples.
The Alfonso Artiaco Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Lawrence Weiner’s solo show “Just Before” on Thursday the 16th of February at 7.30 pm, in the presence of the artist.
For his fourth solo show at the Alfonso Artiaco Gallery, Lawrence Weiner will present four site- specific wall installations expanding the theme proposed by him within the Gallery’s exhibition space ‘textually’.
Among the founders of the Conceptual Art, the New York artist Lawrence Weiner produces wall ‘sculptures’ made of codifiable language signs, using the language as an expressive means of his artistic practice. “Just Before” is the title of the exhibition pathway that the artist offers to the show’s viewers, an invitation to fill his ‘textual’ artworks with meaning, in this specific case, bringing the viewer to reflect on the existential categories of space and time.
His ‘statements’ assume the form of a ‘sculpture’ which is the essence of his artistic spirit, indeed Weiner employs words as if they were raw materials to be used in the artistic process. It is rather the relationship between the artwork and the viewer that interests the artist, and it is precisely the gap filled by this relationship that makes this “complex and lazy machine”, as Umberto Eco could define it, work.
The artist, by quoting Ovidio’s famous sentence “time that devours all things” (Metamorfosi, XV, 234), and by using other spatial–temporal assertions, creates a pathway in which the visitor will be invited to give meaning to his ‘codifiable sculptures’, activating a mechanism of interpreting acts to stimulate the reflection on these existential categories, without determining any limits of interpretation. That is, without leading the meaning into a univocal direction of sense.
For Weiner, art doesn’t need definitions, moreover any assignment of a label would only feed a ‘fascist’ aesthetic in which a personal vision would impose itself on the possible interpretations of an observer. Because of this, his work requires a great engagement from the visitor who, thanks to this invitation to reflect, can expand his own knowledge of the world. Not coincidentally, language is the main instrument that Weiner uses to retrace what the logician Ludwig Wittegenstein in the field of philosophy anticipated in his Tractatus: “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world”(§ 5.6). A knowledge that on one side has a limit dictated by the language itself, but from the other point of view can be expanded indefinitely.
The sculptures of the American artist therefore don’t have to be intended as tautologies or analytical prepositions that say nothing about the world if not what they logically assert, but they are concepts that have an ontological value, one that the viewer has to disambiguate in order to grasp its meaning by deepening one’s own knowledge of the surrounding world and consecutively of oneself.