Issue #10 | Spring/Summer 2008

The Dream of a Common Language

I say art and I mean one thing, or many things. You say art, and may mean something different again. We use the word as though it has a simple definition. Instead, it contains a whole language.

hen we were kids we read picture books, with images to elaborate upon the words. As adults we read publications like this one, with words to elaborate on the pictures. The visual and the verbal – each is a language that enriches the other.

Languages are learned slowly and with great effort. All of our communications are at best partial and incomplete. Still, at its core, art is – as text artist Micah Lexier said in January – “just one person trying to communicate with others.”

Out of the silence where the words haven’t been spoken yet, out of the blankness of the untouched canvas, the artist is compelled by the “drive to connect.” Art comes into being in the recurring “dream of a common language.” (Adrienne Rich)

Wendy Stefansson, Editor


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