Organized by Julien Bismuth
January 20 - March 4, 2023
Uncertain Codes is an exhibition without a theme other than that of language. In a famous passage, the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure states: "… in language, there are only differences." The exhibition is structured around the idea of difference in language, not just the differential nature of the linguistic sign, but the differences in how we each use language, as well as the myriad ways in which languages differ from one another or even from themselves.
Julien Bismuth's work engages with language both as theme and as a medium. This work stems from his long-standing interest in the question that is language, as well as the questions that stem from it. This exhibition is structured in two parts. The first is a video and series of wall works produced by Bismuth for this exhibition, which function as an annotated video essay, a statement on the artist's interest in the linguistic medium composed by means of texts and images, both still and moving.
The second part of the exhibition is an idiosyncratic collection of works by other artists, writers, and activists, curated by Julien Bismuth, that each speak of a distinct relationship to language, from poetry to coded messages, from illegible writing to advertising, from clairvoyance to opacity. This set of works will be presented in a vitrine of publications from the artist's collection, accompanied by a display of videos by the poet Hannah Weiner and the artist and writer Constance de Jong. In a separate room built within the gallery space, there is a selection of language-based interventions by activists and artists, using the newspaper as a medium. Finally, a small reference library with publications by many of the featured artists and writers in the exhibition.