According to Kozlowski, language does not correspond to reality but reflects it by virtue of its symbolic construction. Punctionuation marks, he believes, are of particular significance in this context: they neither describe nor reflects reality; instead, “what eludes confrontation with extra-linguistic reality […] in (written) language is punctuation […] even though we colloquially call these signs ‘sentence-marks,’ they do not signify any-thing but what they are. There are no models in extra-linguistic reality they refer to, and conversely they are not the models for any element in that reality. They designate nothing even if they—simultaneousl—are not empty; they are neutral with respect to extra-linguistic reality. In this sence,,:;--()//,,“?!... By effacing the text from the critique of pure reason, from a work that raises the questions of being and presence, the artist engages in a play with Kant’s language, retaining nothing but what is linguistic—and is yet nothing: the marks that in turn mark the absent work, the blanks, the void.

Propositions raise the question of reality and of the relationship between images and language. The first page shows small black square, its corners marked with the letters a, b, c, and d. Underneath the square appears a label, the statement / this is a square/, which already illustrates the discrepancy between image and word. The next page bears the heading (language), followed by the proposition this square is black. And the square is missing on this page as well as the following ones. On the third page, the metalinguistic level commences, indicated by the heading (metalanguage); the square is missing, and there is the proposition the proposition “the square is black” is true. Two subsequent pages give the metalinguistic screw further truns, resulting in (metametametalanguage), followed by the final sentence “the proposition // i ascertain: ‘it is true that the proposition “the square is black” is true’// is true.”

The extreme accumulation of metalinguistic propositions and the absence of the image referred to leads language to abdicate its relationship with reality; it becomes its own reality. Kozlowski “proves”that this is indeed so by repeating the same construction on the following pages while relacing “true”with “false”and “is” with “is not”.

Kozlowski’s artist’s book a, b, thus the artist, is a play with relativism. The first page of this landscape—format book already bears the two titular letters. A and b are separated by, and positioned at equal distances from, a vertical line that runs, slightly aslant, across the entire height of the sheet. On the pages the follow, the letters and the line progressively turn counterclockwise—depending on the respecive positions, the line is extended, but the letters remain unchanged in their placement relative to one another and the line—until the entire arrangement has turned 180 degrees and the letters are exactly upside down. The back cover, too, is upside down, and the reader can simply turn the book over and read it from the other end; the line and the letters now rotate clockwise. By not predeter-mining the direction in which the book is to be read, kozlowski gives the reader a new role and the liberty of deciding for him or herself how the book ought to be read.


In 1979, i made a large photographic work titled image/ text,  which combined images of me in the studo making the itself, with a text meditating on this concept of self-referencing. The concept of image/text developed out of the photographic documentation of my studio practice that i began in the late 1960s. This documentation was conceived as an inttegral part of the work process,and as a reflection on the making of art-work as a performance—an acting out of meaning-making in the processof fabricating the art object itself. This work was an early attempt to reconfigure a conceptual art practice through its literary antecedent in the work of stëphane mallarmé, who i had come to recognize as an important precursor to visual poetry as well as conceptual art.


With her poems by ewa, the artist offers proof that poetry cannot be defined by language and workd alone.instead, she expands the concept of poetry by two essential factors: the author’s creative action and the letter as an imagistic sign, “visual poetry.”

Every installation ny ana trofs makes for a powerful cinematic experience. Each of her works enables me to distinguish more nuances in the difference between film projection and installation, between movie theatre and gallery, between telling and showing. Torfs’ work is always on the boundary between something or other: slightly uncomfortable but with increasing confidence.

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