still in character (2023) by Laura Jatkowski, dimension 2,3m x 0,45m x 0,17m, projection: work by Nicoline Van Harskamp
still in character (2023) by Laura Jatkowski, video work by Natalia Papaeva, textile work by Annabelle Binnerts
Outside the Text focuses on the question of how language shapes our reality. By assigning words to objects, situations and basically everything around us, we give meaning to our world. To a certain extent you could say that we live in a linguistic reality. Less discussed is whether this also works the other way around; how the same language can also create realities and therefore can hold structures of power in place. At a time when language and specific words are being scrutinized, this question appears to be more relevant as ever. To what extent do words matter? Are there also things left unsaid or gaps in our vocabulary when using language to put forward individual or collective narratives? And how does language (un)consciously create new realities for us?
In Outside the Text a specific commonality between the works deconstructs language on multiple levels, from the individual letter to the construction of meaning. The title of the exhibition refers to a quote from Jacques Derrida “Il n'y a pas de hors-texte” (“there is nothing outside text”). With this idea, Derrida argues that language is in constant flux. Partly because of this, the meaning of language is never fixed. Could this idea also serve as an encouragement to break open entrenched languages upholding power structures?