November 3 – February 3, 2008
The New York–based, Honduran/American, artist Paul Ramirez Jonas investigates failed utopia and the brief moments in history when believed success alters the interpretation of the concept of progress. For this WorkSpace at the Blanton, Ramirez Jonas will draw on the words of famous Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges using the following sentence as a point of departure: “El acto de leer es más creativo que el de escribir,” (The act of reading is more creative than that of writing). The installation will bridge a conceptual study of the taxonomic relation between the written language and what holds it (be it books, tablets, or pedestals), along with the performative qualities of texts that address notions of history as a fiction and reality. For Ramirez Jonas, the public takes on a pivotal roll in the construction of meaning of the ideas he presents through his work. For example, one of the components of the installation is a lectern with a microphone and speaker where an engraved clay tablet rests with the oath, “Do you solemnly swear that you will consider all the evidence in this case, follow the instructions given to you, deliberate fairly and impartially and reach a fair verdict? So help you God.” Here the audience is invited to activate the project by reading out loud the presented text and thus setting in motion Borges’ words, as the act of reading a single text will indeed invite different interpretations that can awaken our imagination and create new meaning.
Curated by Ursula Davila–Villa, assistant curator of Latin American art