January 18, 2020 - Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève - Scrivere Disegnando
January 18, 2020

Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève

Ryan Gander, Scrivere Disegnando. Quand la langue cherche son autre. Written in the typeface Set in Stone.

Scrivere Disegnando
When Language Seeks Its Other
January 29–May 3, 2020

Opening: January 28, 6–9pm

Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève
10, rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
1205 Geneva
Switzerland

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Scrivere Disegnando (“Writing by Drawing”) is an exhibition about writing and its shadow side. It examines a number of practices, from the early 20th century to the present day, in which writing leaves behind its communicative function and moves toward the sphere of the illegible and unspeakable. The exhibition sets out to explore the tension inherent in script, the way it hovers between the genuinely semantic realm and the uncharted territory of mere arabesques, automatisms, repeated marks, and scribbles.

All of the works on view inhabit a special terrain vague in which the act of writing is more about “trying to say” than “saying” itself, more about potentialities of meaning than about signification. Such writing has transcended communication, becoming a trace of existence and affirmation of self but also an element of fancy, a metaphor for the mysterious weft of the world. Our investigation centers on this ancient human impulse to move past the communicative side of writing toward the unfettered, absolute reclamation of the mark, with its wealth of imaginative possibilities.

As the very first collaborative project between the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne and a contemporary art institution, this exhibition brings together a diverse range of creative personalities. No hierarchy has been established among the works on view; in this adventure of the hand and mind, all the old categories separating official artists from outsider artists, the sane from the insane, the formally trained from the self-taught, inevitably fade away. What these very different individuals have in common is the desire to capture an “elsewhere” within writing, to move past the semantic dimension and freely mine the innovative, imaginative resources of language.

Another aspect that the exhibition highlights is the indissoluble link between writing and power—between language and gender. In this sense the project also represents an exploration of the status of women’s voices over the last century. Since the early 1900s, many women have used compulsive, often illegible handwriting to express an existential need for personal affirmation, often in response to a patriarchal world that preferred them to be politically invisible and socially voiceless. The moment of writing becomes a moment of life, a private act, a sign of existence, and tool of self-knowledge—but also an instrument of rebellion and artistic expression.

A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue, published by Skira in English and French editions, features original essays by Andrea Bellini, Sarah Lombardi, Derek Beaulieu, Federico Campagna, Vincent Capt, François Chastanet, Andrea Cortellessa, Morad Montazami, Joana Neves, Marta Spagnolello, Michel Thévoz, and Marina Yaguello.

With works by: Douglas Abdell, Vincenzo Accame, Rosaire Appel, Tchello d’Barros, Gianfranco Baruchello, Tomaso Binga, Irma Blank, Nick Blinko, Alighiero Boetti, Marcia Brauer, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Elijah Burgher, Axel Calatayud, Gaston Chaissac, Laura Cingolani, Guy de Cointet, Aloïse Corbaz, Dadamaino, Betty Danon, Hanne Darboven, Michel Dave, Michael Dean, Mirtha Dermisache, Emmanuel Derriennic, Jean Dubuffet, Giordano Falzoni, León Ferrari, Chiara Fumai, Pepe Gaitán, Jill Galliéni, Ryan Gander, Anne-Marie Gbindoun, Marco Giovenale, Rafael González, Giorgio Griffa, Mariangela Guatteri, Gustav, Elisabetta Gut, Brion Gysin, Ana Hatherly, Emma Hauck, Takanori Herai, Joseph Heuer, Susan Hiller, Steffani Jemison, Carlo Keshishian, Annalies Klophaus, Maria Lai, Fabio Lapiana, Jürg Lehni, Dwight Mackintosh, Kunizo Matsumoto, Viviane Van Melkebeeke, Reinhold Metz, Henri Michaux, Miriam Midley, Bruno Munari, J.B. Murray, Gastone Novelli, Francis Palanc, Giulio Paolini, Luca Maria Patella, Enzo Patti, Jean Perdrizet, Nathalie Perrin, Laure Pigeon, Renata Prunas, Justine Python, Svetlana Rabey, Carmen Racovitza, Judit Reigl, Jane Ruffié, Valeri Scherstjanoi, Salome Schmuki, Greta Schödl, Luigi Serafini, Jeremy Shaw, Hélène Smith, Ivana Spinelli, Martina Stella, Lina Stern, Laurence Sterne, Barbara Suckfüll, Jenna Sutela, Cecil Touchon, Louise Tournay, Jeanne Tripier, Pascal Vonlanthen, August Walla, Robert Walser, Galaxia Wang, Melvin Way, and Adolf Wölfli.

Curators: Andrea Bellini and Sarah Lombardi
Documents section: Sara De Chiara
Public program: Work.Master students of the HEAD – Genève, with Pierre Leguillon

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