Colorless Green Ideas
The title of the exhibition is a quotation from the book Syntactic Structures, written by Noam Chomsky in 1957, where the American author illustrates the difference between syntax and semantics upon building a grammatically correct sentence that, however, has no meaning.
Using this as a starting point, Gil explores different language systems through the translation and fragmentation of specific texts. At the same time, this allows him to reflect on language’s different layers of interpretation and meaning, and their non-communicative employment, through various conceptual strategies. Using a broad range of media (archive material, found objects, video, music scores, typography, computer graphics…) the artist investigates the relocation of meaning, the value of the object and the paradox of the viewer.
In this way, the artist presents in Speech Variations a number of imaginary dialogues between several characters, using a language based on the system of music notation: Stanley Kubrick and György Ligeti thus discuss the score of 2001, A Space Odyssey; Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari comment on their theories of communicative interruption through a notation system created by Brian Eno… In other cases, the transcriptions are based on architectural paradigms, such as Le Corbusier commenting on Iannis Xenakis’ Philips Pavilion.
The two pieces presented in the second room under the common title of Redundancy are based on everyday objects, in this case fragments of advertising neon lights that have lost their original meaning in order to gain a new one after being mixed together by the artist. These works walk along the thin line between what makes sense and what doesn’t, even though the titles of the works give clues as to their origin and propose new meanings.
Finally, Karlos Gil has made a new font especially for this exhibition, based on the works presented within it, which can be downloaded for fre.