Words without Form: Language as Medium

November 24 – December 22, 2020


Sarah Ahmed

Nasreddine Bennacer

Rachid Koraïchi

Youdhisthir Maharjan



The exhibition brings together artists with an interest in deconstruction – in the paring down of written forms to their residual essence. We think in words. We employ them in the construction of our identities.  Does the absence of these written forms therefore deny us these identities? The authors of these works offer – whether by juxtaposition or obfuscation, redaction or even sublimation – a potent illustration to the contrary. 


‘Words without Form’ traces an invisible, conceptual line that begins at Man Ray’s poem Paris, Mai (1924) then maneuvers around Henri Michaux’s machinations, underscores Mira Schendel’s grammatical reinventions, circles around Cy Twombly’s mark-making, expands to rival Xu Bing’s grand scale and is sublimated into the stoic spirituality of Kufic Qur’an manuscripts.


The confluence of these art practices is rooted in seeking harmony between action and result. Evincing the use of rhythmic consistency, iconic signs, expressive grammar and interpretive transcendence, the works in ‘Words without Form’ are akin to visual ciphers – revealing what the written word cannot reveal.