January 4th – February 3rd, 2007
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present the second exhibition of text-based work by Mark Mumford. In this show, the artist continues his investigation of words and phrases often found in everyday speech. Creating text-based images produced from commercially made vinyl lettering, and then applying them directly to the gallery walls, the work is, at its core, performative. But, instead of being a physical act of endurance the pieces are intellectually driven by the complexity of language.
Rooted in everyday speech and composed of words and phrases that resonate in the uneasy tensions of the contemporary world, the works themselves go far beyond ruminations of language. Manipulation and suggestion through linguistic referencing, the language of control, the challenge to accept the modes of authorship and the presentation of advertisement in contemporary culture are all present. As a result, each piece becomes a shifting ground of meaning while demonstrating the ever-present power of language.
The circular compositions and bold fonts emphasize the rhythm and authority found in everyday speech, the shape reiterates the phrases as signifiers for philosophical and political musings. Visually bold and achingly funny, the signs contrive a situation where, in the artist’s words, “meaning hovers on the threshold of realization, and where the knotty relationships between seeing and reading, reading and believing, believing and seeing are given a full and lively expression….They are, in essence, Neo-Pop paintings that pit spatial syntax against linguistic syntax, and in so doing, provide gallery visitors with a chance to fully experience the blinding noise that words alone create.”