Optical Syllabary, by Nora Schmel

The ‘OPTICAL SYLLABARY’ exhibition is a collection of typewriter poetry and collage works that explore
subjective connections between language and visual perception. An experimentation of how we connect
meaning to words when graphic elements are added or taken away, and how the narrative of an image
changes when our understanding is influenced by words.

As there was a protagonist walking through the space leaving her thoughts behind, each individual artwork
stands like a trace of a speculation. A reflection to given concepts that we all observe or experience but
process it particularly to our unique character. This same notion runs through the entire exhibition divided
into groups of artworks depending on the subject matter. The same typewriter which has been used in the
process of making, serves as the device giving voice to the artist’s expressions.

In the front room’s display, collage pieces in various sizes illustrate quick, passing thoughts of the artist and
potential conversion topics addressed to a receiver. Postcards and questionnaires presume two-sided
interaction, however only one side of the exchange is visible.

Entering the main gallery, one section of the display, ‘Ideagraphs’ plays with the imagery of simple words in
alphabetical order. Reflecting on how children learn to attach a set of pictorial symbols to words, the
audience is invited to review their visual dictionary connected to meanings.The ‘We are standing right here’ poetry/collage pieces are small messages about social displacement, finding
a voice that speaks observations for ‘us’ rather than for ‘me’. The opposite of this consideration is displayed
in the ‘The string is your reality’ balloon installation, in celebration of our singularity through our body and
mind.Using modern technology, ‘Experiencing Visual Poetry’ is a virtual reality installation, allowing the audience
to step inside typewritten and hand-drawn symbols and alter the fictional reality by moving pieces in the
fabricated space.Moving from unified sensations to an intimate scenario, the ‘NOTES TO (some of) MY LOVERS’ is a collection
of typewriter poetry, that uncovers snippets of some very personal stories based on the artist’s affecting
involvements throughout her life. A sentimental, yet ironic ballad to lovers in the form of text and sound,
exploring the melancholy of embraces and struggles.

Poems rooting from personal involvement and short writings reflecting on the world that we live in, alongside colour-coded and pictorial arrangements in various mediums and installation formats.

Sound and music by Matt Part

Event on Facebook.

About the artist


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