The Pleasure of Language

The Pleasure of Language
August 24 - September 28 2002
Opening: August 24, 17.00 hrs

Brandon LaBelle, Peter Frucht, MEZ (Mary Anne Breeze), Netochka Nezvanova &
Jaine Evans, Imogen Stidworthy

The popularity of chatrooms on the internet and the speed of electronic mail
have led to an enormous growth in communication, and with it, changes in the
use of language and the creation of countless vernaculars. The Netherlands
Media Art Institute organises from August 24 untill September 28 The
Pleasure of Language. In this exhibition the artists are concerned with
language in various manners. By employing new technologies a number of works
reflect the body of thought and ways of working of artists at the beginning
of the last century - like Hugo Ball, Marcel Duchamp and Theo van Doesburg -
, placing these ideas in a contemporary perspective. The artists respond
through image, text and sound to and participate in the ways language-use as
well as the communication process are changing.

In his installations the audio artist Brandon LaBelle focuses on the
dynamics of spaces, objects, bodies and language. His interest is primarily
in the harmonic possibilities of language: how the various consonants and
vowels collectively form an architectural whole that enables us to form
words and sentences, and subsequently how they achieve and influence

The misunderstandings which arise in communication are central to the work
of Peter Frucht. Influenced by his long presence in chatrooms on the
internet, in Frucht has selected snippets of various internet conversations
in ‘iow…’. He has then styled the texts by replacing certain letters and
automatically reordering the words left over. The result is a wave of live
chat that can be mixed and linked together by the visitor, through which new
dialogues become audible.

MEZ (Mary Anne Breeze) produces e-poetry on the internet which she herself
terms m[ez]ang.elle. M[ez]ang.elle is a game with language, supported by
sound, symbols and text, which arises from abbreviations that are current in
e-mail and SMS communication. The words are altered in a manner that
reflects the fundamental meaning of the word and lets new associations
arise. Her language is based on English and contains mathematical,
programming and other language codes, in order to develop a language
specific to internet.

In her newest quasi-documentary video Substitutes (2002) Imogen Stidworthy
shows us two young singers from Romania who meet each other by chance. As
she shows the tape to friends, it evokes all sorts of commentaries,
explanations and interpretations. Stidworthy mixed the reactions with the
original Romanian folk songs that were sung in the video. The acoustic
linking of the reactions with the folk songs provides that the work changes
into a hybrid soundtrack, a patchwork of illogical connections and
grammatical discrepancies.

In addition to current works, a number of works from the early days of video
art from the Montevideo collection will be shown on monitor. Recordings of
performances by Laurie Anderson and Carolee Schneeman, and video works by
Vito Acconci and others will show how artists employed language in their
work in the past.

Opening hours gallery: Tuesday - Saturday 1-5 pm, free entrance

For more information/images please contact Marieke Istha (communication)

Brandon Labelle

Peter Frucht


Netochka Nezvanova, Jaine Evans

Marieke Istha

Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T +31(0)20 6237101
F +31 (0)20 6244423