sous rature

An exhibition curated by Heather + Raphael Rubinstein at Pierogi Gallery

NOVEMBER 28, 2018 – JANUARY 27, 2019
Reviewed in the New York Times, the Brooklyn Rail, Two Coats of Paint

Taking its title from Jacques Derrida’s concept of “under erasure,” the exhibition will include both visual artists and contemporary writers whose work features different varieties of erasure. For Derrida (as for Heidegger before him) to put a word under erasure (sous rature) is to signal the inadequacy of inherited language while also recognizing its inevitability. Since Derrida introduced the concept of under erasure in his 1967 book Of Grammatology, this emphatically visual act of intervention has become an indispensible technique in diverse disciplines. >> VIEW EXHIBITING ARTISTS + WRITERS

Missing: Erasure | Must Include: Erasure

By Raphael Rubinstein

During the 1960s, a growing number of artists and writers, in disparate locations around the world and mostly unaware of one another, took up the practice of erasure and effacement: in New York City, Doris Cross started painting over dictionary pages; Tom Phillips in London began to partially obliterate pages from an obscure Victorian novel; in Italy, Emilio Isgrò commenced his cancellatura (cancellations), in which he methodically blacked out lines of text; Austrian concrete poet Gerhard Rühm used India ink to largely obliterate a newspaper front page; in Belgium in 1968, Marcel Broodthaers crossed out selected words in an anti-Minimalist, blackboard-like painting and, the next year, published his version of Mallarmé’s “Un coup de dès jamais n’abolira le hasard,” in which every line of typeset words was replaced by a black band of equal length. (Interestingly, both Isgrò and Broodthaers were lapsed poets, or, rather, poets who decided to continue poetry by other means.) In 1967, Jacques Derrida published de la Grammatologie in which he put the word “Being” sous rature (under erasure) by overlaying it with a typographic X, a chiasmic device he borrowed from Martin Heidegger, but which he employed with intentions and meanings distinctly different from the German philosopher. >> Continue reading the essay

Exhibiting Artists + Writers