International Art English

For those of us studying Art and anyone who walks round a gallery encountering  International Art English (IAE) can be a bewildering experience.  In Gilda Williams book “How to write about Contemporary Art” she looks at the phenomenon that is IAE and the fight back against it.

“Some of IAE’s tics are:

  • habitually improvising nouns (“visual” becomes “visuality”)
  • hammering out fashionable terminology (“transversal”, “meta”, “involution”)
  • abusing prefixes, with para-, proto-, post-, and hyper-.

In an ARTFORUM book review responding to a pair of recent books on curating, critic Julian Stallabrass lamented the “thick and viscous vocabulary” he found there, rewording some sentences in plain English:

For instance here is the concluding section: “Exhibitons are a coproductive, spatial medium, resulting from various forms of negotiation, relationality, adaptation, and collaboration between subjects and objects, across space and time.” Rough translation: people work together to make exhibitions using objects. They exist in space and time.”

Williams book goes onto to help avoid these pitfalls and is well worth a read.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s