Objectively Speaking
Objectively Speaking
14 March - 18 April 2016

Center for Visual Research, Lachaise Gallery
Cedar Crest College, PA
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking
Objectively Speaking
14 March - 18 April 2016

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein proposes a philosophy of representation whereby facts, objects and thoughts extend beyond language. In these terms, the attachment of a picture to reality creates an illogical space.

Wittgenstein's concepts resonated with me during an artist's residency in Krems, Austria, not far from his birthplace of Vienna. Using the objects in my studio, I created cyanotypes on silk and other found fabrics. The solar prints refer to displaced experience and translation between form and language. The ghosts of ontological forms are arranged and organized like a ransom note, transcending the physicality of the respective materials. Like lies that lie in things, these fabrics can be read in a way that reinforces Wittgenstein’s proposition:

"What can be shown cannot be said."
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cyanotypes on silk and cotton
Shown & Said (detail)
2016
cyanotypes on silk and cotton
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cyanotypes on silk and cotton
Shown & Said (detail)
2016
cyanotypes on silk and cotton
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cyanotype on silk
chair and lamp, Krems, Austria
2015
cyanotype on silk
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cyanotype on silk
ch-ch-chair
2015
cyanotype on silk
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cyanotype on cotton
cord, Krems, Austria
2015
cyanotype on cotton
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking
La Menzogna
2015
89.5 x 84 inches

"La menzogna non è nel discorso, è nelle cose."

- from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities

In a fictitious dialog between the Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, and the great Kublai Kahn, Polo attempts to describe Kahn's empire using keepsakes from his travels. Polo claims:
"Falsehood is never in words, it is in things."

The concept for this installation grew from ongoing project research conducted on the island of Burano, Italy, located in the Venetian lagoon. Witnessing the impact of global trade and tourism on the fragile ecological, social and economic structure of Burano and other idyllic travel destinations prompted a deeper investigation into the stories of objects, places, and the people who ritualize them.

Known for its beautiful, colorful houses and hanging laundry, the subjects of these back-lit images are typical of those captured by the hundreds who visit the island of Burano every day. These images, however, (which are not altered except for the removal of the structures and laundry), reveal that voice and void are concurrent forces.
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking installation of backlit snapshots of Burano skies
La Menzogna
2015
installation of backlit snapshots of Burano skies
89.5 x 84 inches

"La menzogna non è nel discorso, è nelle cose."

(Falsehood is not in words, it is in things.)
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking installation of backlit snapshots of Burano skies
La Menzogna
2015
installation of backlit snapshots of Burano skies
89.5 x 84 inches

"La menzogna non è nel discorso, è nelle cose."

(Falsehood is not in words, it is in things.)
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking

Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking

Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking

Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking

Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cotton thread and Yellow Pages
dumpster
2015
cotton thread and Yellow Pages
13 x 12 inches
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cotton thread and Yellow Pages mounted to steel frame
dumpster
2015
cotton thread and Yellow Pages mounted to steel frame
13 x 12 inches
Leslie Hirst Objectively Speaking cotton thread and Yellow Pages
dumpster (detail)
2015
cotton thread and Yellow Pages
13 x 12 inches
Bibliography section article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon small Sold Dot