p. ardid

P. Ardid, The world in quotation marks (2019)

April 22, 2019

Installed on the wall of the Louvre building’s vehicle elevator, The world in quotation marks appropriates visual signage in an aesthetic common to visual communication of public and private spaces, especially in garages. Always seen in motion, the work reinforces the cinematic aspect of the wall through which the elevator passes—it is unclear whether what moves is the viewer or the wall itself, creating a subtle illusory relationship with what is seen. The words in quotation marks produce questions between the displacements of their original meaning and what they would mean today, in a time emptied of certainty by the phenomenon of post-truth. They also vary depending on the field, creating intersections between art, politics, adjectives, and spatial coordinates. The quotation marks can indicate a quote, a title; they can carry a derogatory character, or demonstrate a discrepancy between concept (the written word) and practice. The work closed out the exhibition in a performative gesture of inviting the public to watch the words impregnated on the wall in this service area of the building, as if it were always there, like cave paintings that help us to generate society’s values and imaginary. If reality does not stop surprising, what new meanings can these words placed in quotes generate?

Acknowledgments: Marcos Antonio da Silva Fernandes, Jjoão Paes