rad hourani heel art project

WRITING SYSTEMS - 2022

Nativist though they may seem, the writing systems we use to communicate in society are learned and acquired practices. Each year brings new additions to the dictionary, concerning new definitions or distinct situations in time. These attributions are products not of nature but of nurture. Through syntax and lexicon, society continues to defer to authority by treating traditionally educated individuals with respect and praise while overlooking and neglecting those who do not echo a similarly literate proficiency. Due to his writing and reading difficulties, the use of script and orthography has long intimidated Rad Hourani. Rooted in his own experience as a neurodivergent artist, this body of work aims to open a dialogue on invisible disabilities and the divisive issues of written language. Hourani questions how linguistics might better facilitate the structures of our synthetic languages; isn’t there a way to make them accessible to all?

Furthermore, Hourani investigates how text creates social divisions. A national language is comprised of a writing system that one perceives as an identity from which the separation of the self is born. The use of nouns divides through feminine or masculine applications, and certain adjectives may exert a negative impact on the mind simply because of their learned meanings. Although numbers are neutral in gender, their use as indicators of age and class can reflect inequality. As vocabularies are and continue to be the invention of specific individuals that categorize people, namely through their physical characteristics, Hourani further asks: is it possible to neutralize semantics by challenging the norms and binary conceptions contained within language?

Through the detachment of the elements that make up a phrase or the illustration of paragraphs, Rad Hourani has created laser-cut PVC sculptures, depicting letters, digits, and signs in different typographies. These amalgamations are reminiscent of a page from a book or of a classroom blackboard; their forms and textures allow blind or visually impaired people to access them by touch. Hourani intends to highlight the vast interpretative possibilities beyond the mainstream narrative. It is through an unbiased, flexible language that we could create inclusive forms of communication.

This sculptural series of uncommon patterns and rotations in various fonts proposes alternative concepts of words, constitutions of sentences, conjugations of verbs, declensions of pronouns, and uses of punctuation marks or letter cases. Reflecting on the structural rules of grammar, it falls not only to linguistics to establish terminology or to create a glossary, but to each of us, regardless of our academic and literary skills. Rad Hourani’s artworks suggest a nuanced understanding of self, beyond the categorizations implicit in the articulation of a certain language, to be of a certain age or sex, or to make a certain salary.

 

© 2022 RAD HOURANI

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ADJECTIVE – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

PRONOUN – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

CLAUSE – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

ADVERB – 2022

PVC
54.9 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 21.6" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

WORD – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

SENTENCE – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

NOUN – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

PARAGRAPH – 2022

PVC
94 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 37" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

VERB – 2022

PVC
54.9 X 99 X 1.9 CM ( 21.6" X 39" X 0.75")   EDITION 1/1

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