LONDON.- The Zabludowicz Collection
presents Weighted Words, an exhibition bringing together works which harness the powers of language in order to produce an impact on the viewer. By investigating the ways in which artists use language, the exhibition offers visitors new and striking ways of considering weighty topics. These include the history and discourse surrounding racism in the United States, the linguistic legacy of colonialism in Africa, recent warfare, the role of rhetoric in international affairs since the beginning of the 20th century and the transformative power of creative expressions of protest.
Weighted Words includes works from the Zabludowicz Collection and a loaned archive of historical audio recordings. The exhibition presents a significant group of works by Glenn Ligon, whose US-touring mid-career retrospective is currently on show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Zabludowicz Collection has the largest holdings of Ligons work of any private collection in the UK and Weighted Words includes seminal painting and neon works by the artist. Weighted Words also marks as the UK premiere of works by Alexandre Singh and Omer Fast, and includes the three parts of Ed Atkins trilogy of Death Mask works. Visitors are able to use Ruth Ewans A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World (2003 ongoing), which contains over 1000 protest songs addressed to a multitude of causes. Weighted Words also include the UK premiere of Dani Gals Historical Records Archive. This work, loaned by the artist, is an ongoing collection, which currently consists of around 250 vinyl recordings of historical significance, ranging from political speeches and radio broadcasts to interviews with world leaders.
Weighted Words seeks to focus on the affect of language, rather than its purely cerebral aspects. The works in the exhibition deliberately seek to elicit emotional, visceral or somatic responses, rather than foregrounding concerns for semiotics or linguistics as such. The works use language in singular ways, through written text and spoken word as well as via its absence or vagaries.
The exhibition includes a major season of new and existing performance, looking at the role of language in live works ranging from poetry to lectures, via theatre, storytelling and stand-up comedy. This live programme was announced in January 2012.