On Future: Words and Images
Toronto Centre for the Arts Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
Group Exhibition featuring Jamile Salek,
Aug 23rd - Sep 19th, 2018
Thirteen artists from Art Connections (a program the City of Toronto built to support newcomer artists as they work on re-establishing their artistic practice in Canada) were invited to participate in this exhibit.
The artwork showcased diverse representational and conceptual explorations of a study that aimed to quantify how easily words create mental imagery in the mind of a subject. The Toronto Word Pool (TWP) Norms for Imagery, Concreteness, Orthographic Variables, and Grammatical Usage for 1,080 words (1982), by Michael Friendly (York University) and Patricia E. Franklin (University of Toronto), David Hoffman (York University) and David C. Rubin (Duke University), measured the levels of concreteness and abstraction of a collection of common English words frequently used in studies of verbal learning, memory, and psycholinguistics. The researchers observed that while some words "arouse a sensory experience such as a mental picture or sound very quickly and easily", others did so "with difficulty after a long delay or not at all”.
"On Future: Words and Images" investigates the ways in which varying starting points reflect on a constant concept: the future, inevitable for all people, animals, buildings, memories and all other man-made and natural things.
In constructing the pieces in this exhibit, the artists drew their inspiration from the word: future, in combination with two other words of their choosing. The result is a diverse collection of works that are both simple and complex and capture many forms, materials, patterns, and connections. The viewer is invited to witness how artists' own visions of the future are shaped by mental imagery arousing from the meaning and associations internally assigned to select words. They are all potential means to contemplate what the future means to each of us and how ideas like “concreteness” and “imagery” can become vehicles to develop our own utopia.