October 3, 2002 - Moment Deutsche Bank - wordsearch
October 3, 2002


Karin Sander

MOMENT Deutsche Bank 


image: john moore is giving his word for wordsearch, © photo: franziska lamprecht, hajoe moderegger, new york city, deutsche bank art, frankfurt am main

Karin Sander: wordsearch


A Sculpture in Words by Karin Sander

Published for One Day Only on October 4, 2002

in the Business Day Section of The New York Times

Presented by Deutsche Bank’s Moment Art Series

Find out what language New York speaks on October 4, 2002. As a part of Deutsche Bank’s Moment art series, artist Karin Sander has created wordsearch, for which she has asked 250 New Yorkers diverse backgrounds to choose a word from their native language that is typical of their culture. Each word will become a part of a sculpture in words and will be published just once, on Friday, October 4, 2002, in the Business Day section of The New York Times. The project will be accompanied by a 68-page color catalogue.

As an eight-page insert in the Business Day section of The New York Times, wordsearch features 62,500 words. Each of the 250 words collected were translated into every one of the other 249 languages in the project. These words will appear as data, alongside the stock quotes, almost as abstract information, yet upon closer examination and in this context, it reveals what the artist refers to as a “translinguistic sculpture”. On the page, readers will find their own culture of origin represented, in their own language, alongside the many other cultures of the city in which they live. The words are printed in a similar fine gray pattern as found with the daily dry mathematics of stock prices, but propose an alternative set of values that reaches beyond economic considerations. According to Sander, “the temporary appearance of these pages in The New York Times will be a testimonial to both cultural identity and cultural heterogeneity. Based as it is on the multitude of languages that are represented in New York City, the diagrammatic image of a metropolis that emerges can refer only to this particular city.”

To gather these words, Sander and her team literally went on a search around the city–into coffee shops, subways, salons, businesses, public places–in their quest to source 250 New Yorkers who represent the rich cultural makeup of the city. The process has been thoroughly documented online at www.moment-art.com and also in a catalogue that accompanies the project that will be published as an insert in The New York Times Magazine on September 29, 2002.

New York’s leading newspaper was the ideal venue for this public art work. The artist sees the newspaper as a medium for conveying news, information, and opinions yet it is seldom itself the focus of attention. wordsearch alters this role, transforming the medium into art. In doing so, Sander’s project blends in with the architecture of the newspaper, but will present art instead of economic data on the stock market pages.

Unlike a more conventional public artwork, wordsearch will have an enormous reach while remaining a temporary experience. Frozen in print for a single day, wordsearch will reach over three million New York Times readers around and world. On the same day, the paper will be transmitted word for word by satellite to Frankfurt and London where it will be printed and distributed. For those who own it, it will become a collector’s item–a time capsule of a city’s dynamic and diverse culture at this time.

The concept of wordsearch was being developed in early 2001, but most of the interviews conducted and words collected occurred post September 11. In this sense, today the project becomes even more poignant and resonant than it was first envisioned. In a time when New Yorkers have been examining and reflecting on their identity, while often being overloaded with information, as an art project wordsearch provides respite and a point of reference and an exploration of a great city. It reveals a city that is socially homogenized and equalized through conflict, grief and hope, while embracing and celebrating its cultural heterogeneity.

In its continued commitment to promoting cultural understanding, interaction and diversity, Deutsche Bank’s second project in its Moment art series, wordsearch, presents a powerful linguistic image of New York City. Through the 62,500 words, the project examines how language embodies culture and functions as an indicator of identity and a vehicle of understanding in a city of several million people and hundreds of cultures. According to Dr. Ariane Grigoteit from Deutsche Bank Art, “this work calls on New Yorkers and the world to respect the rich variety of language, traditions, myths and visions that make up our world.”

What these 250 New Yorkers have identified as ordinary, everyday language has yielded extraordinary results and, in turn, a work of temporary public art. To learn more about those who made wordsearch possible and Deutsche Bank’s Moment art series, visit www.moment-art.com.

The wordsearch Catalogue

A catalogue detailing the background and creation of wordsearch will appear as an insert in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, September 29, 2002. This 68-page catalogue will help contextualize the project and include an interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist, portraits of New Yorkers who “donated” a word, an artist’s statement, documentation by Franziska Lamprecht, and essays by Hilton Als, Oliver Koerner von Gustorf and Harald Welzer.

About the Artist: Karin Sander

Sander was born in Bensberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany is 1957. The artist lives and works in Stuttgart, Berlin and New York. Her works are often related to spaces and situations. They are said to intervene poetically in everyday contexts and reinterpret them. Similarly, with her commission from Deutsche Bank’s Moment art series, the artist focuses on people and the power of the media as a tool for information, abstraction and reflection.

About Moment: The Deutsche Bank Art Series

Each year Moment art presents a new project in a new location and a different country. These projects, created by international artists for the Deutsche Bank’s art series, reveal new perspectives that allow a picture, an idea, or a situation to come into public consciousness. These short-term art projects presented in public domains are consistent with Deutsche Bank’s projects which aim to foster tolerance and diversity. Future Moment art projects are planned for Venice and Hong Kong.

For further information visit www.deutsche-bank-art.c om.

Moment Deutsche Bank
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