Language is a powerful force — it’s capable of challenging our preconceived notions, toying with our beliefs and persuading us to consider the outside viewpoint.
However, when language is pulled out of the abstract realm and positioned directly in front of us in our three-dimensional corporeal world, the viewer’s engagement with the power of language is revolutionized, as he must learn to navigate, to experiment with and decipher object-forms in space.
Thomas Muller’s “Nothing Rhymes With Orange,” opening this Saturday, March 23 at Project 4 Gallery located in the U Street Corridor, compels the viewer to confront the interior architecture of letterforms by removing contextual limitations of language.
“¡buenos dias!” is spelled out and sits as large, block letters on the floor. Other phrases, such as “The man in the gray flannel suit has fallen over!” are positioned in a circle, some letters literally toppling over, creating a physical and intellectual engagement with the forms.
In a vein similar to the work of Liam Gillick, associated with the 1990’s Young British Artists, the viewer first experiences the piece from a purely visual level. He then is persuaded to physically engage with the work, slowly moving to an experience that requires reading and attempted comprehension of both the language and the aesthetic. The words are finally pushed back into their abstract realm when the viewer can conclude the work’s meaning.
“Nothing Rhymes With Orange” opens Saturday, March 23, with a public reception from 6 to 8:30 pm, and runs through April 27.
Project 4 is located at 1353 U Street NW, Suite 302. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 6 pm.