even more things

Selection from Viscera, collaboration with Alexandra Jacob, 2016.

Separated from speaking subjects, a language presents itself as a system of signs. Taken singly, signs do not signify anything; each one does not so much express a meaning as mark a divergence of meaning between itself and other signs. Since a sign has meaning only insofar as it is profiled against other signs, its meaning is entirely involved in language. Language is the lateral relation of one sign to another, which makes each of them significant, so that the meaning appears only at the intersections and in the intervals between. Language, in the presence of those who are learning it, precedes itself, teaches itself, and suggests its own deciphering.

The body has a language and, like other semantic systems, this language of the body is unstable. Compared to verbal language or visual symbolism, the “parts of speech” of corporeal language are relatively imprecise. The body as a language is at once inflexible and too flexible. Much can be expressed, whether deliberately or not, through its behavior. The body is at once the most solid, the most elusive, illusory, concrete, metaphorical, ever-present and ever-distant thing—a site, an instrument, an environment, a singularity, and a multiplicity.