Research Point

Ian Hamilton Finlay was mentioned in the Dean and Millar article, Place The First Of All Things for Little Sparta . His other work includes postcard design incorporating text. Some of these are humorous and some are quite political. The text is very much part of the design. One of these that has a theme of place is Sail/Waves 1. Date unknown. The text and the waves have a strong relationship and there is a sense of being on a sailing boat although it is only barely suggested.

Robert Smithson was mentioned for his photo text work, A Tour of the Passaic New Jersey. 1967 . Looking at his other work, his pencil drawing entitled A Heap of Language is shaped like a hill of words and drawn on something that could be graph paper. It seems to relate to place as if the heap of language existed in a particular size and shape on a plan of something that could be built.

Dan Aitkin’s text sculpture entitled Vulnerable shows an image of the ocean . Although this could be a direct reference to a physical place , it can also remind the viewer that to be at sea , or confused , is also a place where one is vulnerable.

Roni Horn created a piece called You are the Weather which is a rubber floor with raised text  of words such as moderate , cold , tempestuous and balmy . Although this is black text on a grey floor there is a sense of a map and that these weather conditions might be related to specific areas . The title of the piece also indicates that these states exist inside you.

Graham Gussin’s installation called White Neon is a spiral of text lit by neon. The text reads : unsure undecided vague unclear unfinished unstable blurred unresolved indeterminate imprecise indefinite doubtful unknown uncertain. The spiral might represent the inner place where indecision resides . When it is difficult to make a decision often thoughts spiral in ways that are unhelpful .


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