Lexicart: word as object. An exhibition of lexicart presented in dry cleaning format

John Kaine at eventSpace

8th-24th April 2011

eventSpace will be open
Wednesday to Saturday 12noon - 7pm
(other times by appointment)

Private View & Media

friday 8 april 2011
6pm - 9pm

AND eventSpace • 10 Back Church Lane, London E1 1LX
t: 020 7481 9053 • e: info@and.org.ukwww.and.org.uk
JK • m: 07970 439 564 • e: info@johnkaine.co.ukwww.johnkaine.co.uk

for more information about the eventSpace programme and visual arts activities please contact Jenni Boswell-Jones 020 7481 9053

LEXICART: word as object

An exhibition of word art presented in the form of dry cleaning. There are two original aspects to this exhibition the first being the word as art itself and the second dry cleaning as the form of presentation. There is some historical precedent for words as art objects both in mediaeval illuminated manuscripts in Europe and in Islamic texts.

The latter day forms are in brand names, which assume iconic status on billboards and other advertising sites. The second aspect, presentation as dry cleaning, is close to McLuhanism, “The medium is the message”.

Dry cleaning is something that has a specific meaning quite separate from its actual function. A brand new coat hanger and a transparent plastic bag carry a host of implications regardless of what is covered. They represent the default setting for clothes. This is the restart point where every preceding occurrence is washed away and the world reawakens without a blemish. This is commercial absolution. This is where John Wesley meets Marshal McLuhan and the Catholic Church makes a major assumption.

The central point of the exhibition is word as a portable object, and not as encrypted information expressed as writing on a flat surface. These are words as entities divorced from semantics, these are cricket bats used as murder weapons and kitchen knives used as screwdrivers. They are the foreign languages you cannot read and can only comprehend the aesthetics of the forms.

The search for meaning and even the assumption that something has purpose is very misleading. Objects are essentially defined by ignorance expressed in the form of a name. This is why we have to say “what's that”? And the answer is, it is a whatever in the form of a common noun, a name. It is for example say, a horse, which may enable us to communicate about something common to us all, but tells us nothing about what a horse is. This leads us unfortunately to the door of solipsism.

The problem with being a sentient entity in a world of objects is an existential dilemma. Is it possible that the first hominids rushed around giving everything a name in lieu of not knowing what things were? Nouns bear no relation to the objects they represent, they didn’t then and they don’t now, but as someone said “like the poor, they are always with us”. The world is littered with nouns.

john kaine art works showing at eventSpace

  1. Not yet
  2. Teeth
  3. A coat
  4. A little dress
  5. Medium height
  6. Suet
  7. Failure
  8. Pyramid
  9. Oh
  10. Grease
  11. Custard
  12. Piss
  13. No dogs
  14. Egg