Ben Vida, Speech Act 6, 2016, ink and gesso on panel, 47.5″ x 58.5″
Ben Vida’s recent exhibition at Lisa Cooley Gallery, “[Smile on.] … [Pause.] … [Smile off.],” included a series of what the author calls Speech Acts, inspired by concrete poetry. Intended to be recited in a duo vocal performance, the speech acts capture all the pauses, false starts, stammers, and disfluencies of conversation: all the spoken detritus usually omitted in transcripts. Inspired by Beckett and other dramatists who foreground the emptiness of speech patterns, Vida and a partner read each piece aloud at the gallery. “Aurally it’s kind of a short distance from ‘eh, itz tah’ to ‘ah, um oh’ to ‘well, okay so,’ ” he told the Creators Project, “but within this distance the function of the language changes and so the compositional logic begins to change as well. It becomes a completely different engagement in terms of what is being communicated.”
Click any of the images to enlarge them.
Speech Act 1, 2016, ink on rag paper, 31″ x 28″.
Speech Act 13, 2016, ink and gesso on panel, 47.5″ x 58.5″.
Speech Act 16, 2016, ink on rag paper, 31″ x 28″.
Speech Act 5, 2016, Ink on rag paper, 31″ x 28″.
Speech Act 8, 2016, ink on rag paper, 31″ x 28″.
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