Eva Beierheimer/Miriam Laussegger
part of the installation of the diploma, Vienna, 2006
The project art-words evolves around the language that accompanies art works in their textual description.
A collection of art vocabulary is used as starting point for various installations while the text becomes an active part of the work itself.
Art theory, art criticism, exhibition-texts, applications for public funding, etc: Art works are accompanied by their textual descriptions. The ability to express oneself with words has become an important skill for visual artists. And it is a craft of its own: The language used consists of a continuously evolving vocabulary, which has to be learned and used skilfully.
Without doubting the basic principle of textual description of visual art, one can question the balance of the work of art and the importance of its description. How much does this need impair artists, whose primary means of expression is something other than words? Which strategies are developed by artists to cope with these requirements? To what extent is art describable? Or to what extent should it be? And does the excessive use of this art language lead to inflationary tendencies?
Started in 2006, the project art-words evolved around these questions. The core of the project is a collection of more than two thousand words and phrases typically used in the context of art. It was followed up by wallpapers, posters, flags, prints, sculptures, installations and videos based on this collection. Further, an interactive text generator is available at the project’s web-site www.art-words.net/www.worte.at, providing public access to this extensive vocabulary.