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Published 2002

140 x 225 mm
182 pages
Cover: Paperback, color, glossy finish
Binding: glue bound
Interior: black-and-white
Edition limited to 250 numbered copies

Layout : Haim Steinbach

1) In his language works, when Steinbach conserves a phrase in his collection, it is an act of memory, of preserving a relation of language and community, thus his insistence on duplicating the typeface, the original look of the words. What he does with this found relation by rearranging it visually and conceptually (as image and as referent) invites viewers to participate in a replay of messages, to examine how we identify and re-identify with the language and image before us.

2) By the beginning of the 21st century the vernacular of the “saying” has expanded into new territories of communication. “Sayings” as an image of the printed word are employed as agents of desire, baits, callings, devices for getting attention and temptation ploys. What Steinbach does with this found relation by rearranging it visually and conceptually (as image and referent) invites viewers to re-identify with the language before them. The challenge to the viewer is what to make of it.

3) Steinbach is a veteran collector of short statements. When he comes across a colloquialism, a title, or a slogan that strikes him as intriguing or relevant, he clips the text, conserving both the words and typeface, which is their visual presentation. By turning vernacular phrases into wall painting, drawing or print, Steinbach subverts the original context of the language he’s found and moves the words toward new identifications and associations.

4) Just as Steinbach’s shelving of objects reminds viewers that display is an ideological enterprise, his text works serve also to play with established codes of interpreting what is seen. Language in Steinbach’s work is both stable and flexible: the typeface remains the same, the words are verbatim, but the size of the font changes according to the context of the display, and the words now refer to something else in addition to what they “used to mean.”

5) Since the early 1980’s Haim Steinbach produced language-based works as a cultural visual texture, a form of image, sound and poetry. This work translated into wall text installations as well as drawings and prints.

All texts from Haim Steinbach's studio