‘Speech Acts’ showcases work by the American artist Matt Mullican and the British-Australian artist Richard Grayson, whose practices explore systems of knowledge and the performative aspects of language. While its title might trigger associations with post-structuralist theories of language, curator Wes Hill has conceived of the exhibition more as forum for considering the artists’ performative approach to text and language-based art. Mullican, who is connected to the early-1980s ‘Pictures Generation’ of American artists, is seemingly obsessed with the space between thought and communication, and between conscious and unconscious experience. In contrast, Grayson is concerned with how language, and narrative in particular, can be used to make sense of the world around us, revealing the political implications that underlie even the most innocuous of activities.
Performance: Matt Mullican Under Hypnosis, Cell Block Theatre, National Art School
Friday 18th September, 6:30pm
Guest Lecture: Matt Mullican, Artspace
Saturday 26th September, 3:00pm