The Naming of Things
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
1-9-2021 — 3-10-2021
Curated by Bryony Dawson
What sort of desire is expressed by the act of naming? To own - to organise - to map - to preserve? Language doesn’t only describe the world; it constructs it too. When we speak or write - when we assign names to our experiences - we reinvent and arrange the world according to the position and perspective of ‘I’. But in doing so, do we not also invent ourselves?
The artists in this exhibition use writing as both tool and material within moving-image, sculpture and sound in order to interrogate the act of naming: its desires, textures, moods and spaces; but also its complex role in the performance and construction of selfhood. Engaging with quantum physics, 12th century mysticism and psychological space, these works invite questions about the authenticity and authority of a speaking subject, as well as the slipperiness of meaning when language leaves the body.
All photographs courtesy of Jules Lister
The Naming of Things was selected from proposals submitted by Castlefield Gallery Associates by guest selector, artist Ryan Gander OBE and Castlefield Gallery’s Curator & Deputy Director, Matthew Pendergast. The exhibition coincided with a presentation of The Annotated Reader; a publication-as-exhibition and exhibition-as-publication featuring creative personalities responding and remarking on a chosen piece of writing conceived by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts.