"Or, to illustrate still further, the picture of a leaf would become the sign for the syllable ‘leaf’ wherever it might occur, and the picture of a bee would become the syllable ‘be’ the pictures together forming the word ‘belief.’ The picture of the bee would then cease to represent the insect and would represent only the syllable ‘be,’ and the picture of a leaf would no longer signify leaf or foliage; the pictures would have become purely phonetic symbols, expressing words as well as ideas, the next step in their evolution toward real writing."
The Alphabet and Elements of Lettering by Frederic W. Goudy (1918)
"Living like that utterly convinced me of the extreme limitations of language. I was just a child then, so I have only an intuitive understanding of the degree to which one loses control of words once they are spoken or written. It was then that I first felt a deep curiosity about language, and understood it as a tool that encompasses both a single moment and eternity"
#The tower of Babel
#origin of letters
Laura Todoran (b.1980, Serbia/France) - Genèse 11 « Babel », L’origine des langues (2007-2012)
The project focuses on the text of Genesis 11, recounting the Tower of Babel myth. Artist used different alphabets, Latin characters and dactylology (or fingerspelling) used in deaf education. The body painted in white serves as paper, hands painted in black as ink. This writing form revisits the myth that languages have been introduced to create confusion among the people. All these tables show faithfully the text of Genesis in English, the language of communication par excellence. The dactylology alphabets make the story less accessible including for deaf people, as it is not the sign language in itself but alphabets that are used to spell words. This writing and this language, English, have the power to connect different worlds but yet, over the tables, the myth of Babel becomes increasingly difficult to decipher. Photographed bodies are also the declensions of Humanity, masculine, feminine, from (W) white to (B) black. (Roughly translated by ARTchipel)
[more Laura Todoran]
"The first problem of style is how to make dead things come alive. By dead things, I mean words, which neither move, nor breathe, nor weep, nor lust, nor love. Writing well means raising the dead."