Critical Dictionary declassifies selected terms and concepts in a playful manner to emphasise the open-ended, provisional and unfinished nature of language. Through this process of unravelling, the exhibition generates dialogues between an eclectic plethora of themes, including Flickr Sunset, Greenwich Meridian, Mycelium, Overt Research, Pencil Test and War Primer. Each of the contributing artists are somehow engaged in a visual game to awaken the gaps that exist between a text and its plurality of meanings, often taking an ‘original’ artwork or piece of writing as inspiration.
Critical Dictionary is inspired by Georges Bataille’s infamous anti-dictionary for the dissident Surrealist journal Documents (Paris, 1929-30), as well as by Brecht’s interest in functional transformation and by Situationist enthusiasm for détournement. It explores and expands the previous incarnations of Evans’ Critical Dictionary project, which was first developed as the online art journal criticaldictionary.com and later published as an anthology by the same name by Black Dog Publishing. By ‘translating’ the project into multiple forms, Evans addresses the affinities and divergences between the printed page, the computer screen and the gallery wall.
David Evans is a writer and picture editor who lectures at the Arts University College at Bournemouth. Recent publications include Appropriation (Whitechapel Gallery / MIT Press, 2009), Moholy-Nagy: 60 Fotos (Errata Editions, 2010) and Critical Dictionary (Black Dog Publishing, 2011). He is currently writing a book about walking art, to be published by Black Dog Publishing in 2012.
To coincide with the private view, WORK is also pleased to announce that David Evans will be signing copies of his Critical Dictionary anthology. WORK has also produced a limited edition print by Jake Walters, available exclusively through the gallery.