Word Play looks at how contemporary six artists have specifically used and questioned how language functions and how meaning is comprehended. They use language as an actual medium—like charcoal and paint, wood and steel—exploring the paradoxes of language. Sometimes their work is telegraphic; other times almost narrative.
These artists all make us think about language and how we use (and abuse) it, including the acts of speaking, reading and looking; representation and abstraction, and how they cross over. As Smithson later wrote, “A word outside of the mind is a set of ‘dead letters’.” Word Play challenges the viewer to bring life and meaning to letters, punctuation and text.