rivane neuenschwander's ‘prosopopeia’ 2010, showing at pinta art fair, london (6 june - 9 june 2011)

6 June 2011
'Pinta: The Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show' will commence on 6 June at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. Stephen Friedman Gallery, in participation with Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New York) and Galeria Fortes Vilaca (Sao Paulo), is delighted to present a solo project by Rivane Neuenschwander as part of the Art Projects section curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra. 

‘Prosopopéia' 2010 is an installation consisting of four tables on which the artist has designed and set out a series of word games made from organic and edible materials. This work was commissioned by the Malmo Konsthall for the artist's 2010 exhibition.

The title ‘Prosopopéia' is a linguistic device which is used typically to describe the spoken word by an imaginary or absent actor in a scene of events. Here, four tables have been placed by the artist, each containing a jumble of words carved out of different materials seeking to be arranged into order. The audience become actors deciphering the hidden messages animated out of edible and organic matter.

Dehydrated and peeled oranges become giant alphabet letters and can be arranged into aluminum bowls; coconut soap bars have letters carved out, filled with pepper and beetroot powder and arranged like a scrabble set; screen printed letters on wood can be dug into channels of pepper powder and hollow eggs reveal secret letters that are exposed only by offering them up to a naked light bulb.

Each station offers a new encounter for the audience and a different sensory experience in which communication, albeit the silent kind, takes place. The audience, in their interaction with the different letters, leaves behind them messages which in turn, are transformed by new visitors who decode and re-inscript their own meaning into the work.