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2023 Webster Library Exhibitions

Annotate This!

Handwritten invitation for the Annotate This opening talk and exhibition in red and blue marker on white background. [UN]Promptu presents... Annotate This!

April 6 – June 28, 2023

Webster Library, display cases LB-2

Annotated This! was a curated exhibition that investigated language and text and their relationship to artmaking and the library as a site. The location of Concordia University’s Webster Library was used, and these site-specific text-based pieces explored the cultural and grammatical structure of language, the ambiguity of fragmented type, and the play found within graphic text. The artworks were exhibited in display vitrines and showed a range of media, including printmaking, ceramics, painting, fiber arts, photography, and video. This exhibition began with a prompt: What did language as aesthetic mean to you? Each member of the artist collective [UN]PROMPTU was asked to create an artwork as a response. The result was a visual poem of artworks that reacted and responded to the library as a site. This exhibition continued a tradition of conceptual artists turning to text, such as the American artists Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari, and Ed Ruscha. The goal of the exhibition was to create new work in the present to imagine what text-based art could look like in the future. This question was especially poignant in a world that continued to replace printed matter with digital archives, and the handwritten and hand-painted with their virtual counterparts.

Annotated This! was an exhibition by the artist collective [UN]PROMPTU, which was committed to helping emerging artists receive recognition for their work. The six members of the collective were all emerging artists from an array of disciplines, such as painting, ceramics, photography, and textiles. Fractured, fragmented, playing with the structure of language in various media allowed this exhibition to explore many of the facets and nuances within this project. Palimpsests, illegibility, ambiguity, and the nuances of different languages were important themes that were reappropriated, toyed with, and fused with new ideas in unique and challenging ways. However, the intention was not to put words in your mouth, but instead, criticism and discussion were invited, in the hope that you, the viewer, would have felt inspired, even urged to Annotate This!

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