Thanks for Writing

February 27 – June 14, 2014
Opening reception: February 27, 6 - 9p
Installation views
See the review in Hyperallergic

John Baldessari
Taysir Batniji
Jennifer Dalton
Oskar Dawicki
Oasa DuVerney
Shahab Fotouhi
Sara Al Haddad
Ann Hamilton
Liz Larner
Christian Marclay
Rivane Neuenschwander
William Powhida
Jessica Rankin

601 W 26th St., Ste. 1755
New York, NY 10001

February 17, 2014

Dear Reader-cum-Viewer:

We may have only just met, but I must confess that this show is dear to my heart. Thanks for Writing places us at the nexus of my two favorite things: texts and art.

The works on the walls (and in one case, the floor) incorporate or gesture towards text as a communicative form. The texts on the shelves reflect on contemporary art as a communicative form. Included are writing about art and writing by artists — sometimes meant as art and sometimes not — as well as writing about writing.

I like making lists, a lucky coincidence considering I now work in arts administration. I wrote the one I’ve copied below about a month ago, bracketing the art objects in this show in various ways. This exercise helped me understand my project, and I thought you might want a look:
• works in which text functions as art
• works in which text offers the viewer information and operates as a linguistic communicator
• works in which the marked absence of text serves as a form of authorship
• works in which text is employed as a labeling device, either in the work or in the title, in order to render the work a sign for a different signifier than might have been possible without said text
• works that reflect on the experiences of reading and writing
• works that mine the relationship between image and word

Surely you might have your own thoughts to add: please do share!

In organizing TFW, I wanted to collapse the distance between the experiences of reading texts about or related to art and viewing artworks. The show’s installation literalizes and plays with the cliché of reading as a metaphor for viewing and interpretation by offering images that must be read and texts to view — not to mention, read.

Indeed, TFW is a critique, an attempt to disrupt the cursory art-viewing habitualized in gallery-going by inviting visitors like you to slow down, sit down and read a book. Go through the shelves and stay as long as you like — I hope the sofa’s comfortable!

I refer you to works on the shelves for more illuminating writing on the works on the walls, and vice versa.

Thanks for reading,

Mariam Rahmani

Image above: Shahab Fotouhi, Establishing Shot; Interior, Night - Exterior, Day; without Antagonist and Extra, 2013


Is an international art viable? A conversation with TFW curator Mariam Rahmani and artists Oasa DuVerney and Shahab Fotouhi about political art in the contemporary art context
Wednesday, May 21, 6:30 - 8p with reception following

Abridged Version with Printed Matter's Max Schumann
Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 - 8:30p

88 Eldridge St. New York, NY 10002
Tel: 212-243-2735
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