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LANGUAGE to be LOOKED at and/or THINGS to be READ
from Robert Smithson
adaption - fragmented narrative by Charlotte Moth
Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification.
The building stood out from all others when seen from the bottom of the hill.
The power of a word lies in the very inadequacy of the context it is
placed, in the unresolved or partially resolved tension of disparates.
Its large and sprawling facade was white with painted stripes in a
gone-off orange that highlighted its architectural details.
A word fixed or a statement isolated without any decorative or
cubist visual format, becomes a perception of similarity in
dissimilars - in short a paradox.
It had a typical 1970s hotel style entrance,
Congruity could be disrupted by a metaphorical complexity within a
With a number of gradual steps that added a sense of grandeur to first
Literal usage becomes incantory when all metaphors are suppressed.
Immediately as you entered the reception you became instantly aware of
the jarring interior colour scheme.
Here language is built, not written.
That after a while became strangely visually compatible.
Yet, discursive literalness is apt to be a container for a radical metaphor.
This area had a burgundy red carpet with a repetitious pattern and
salmon pink walls.
Literal statements often conceal violent analogies.
The reception hatch was built into the wall, it was quite small.
The mind resists the false identity of such circumambient suggestions,
only to accept an equally false logical surface.
The entrance space was lit from both natural and artificial sources.
Banal words function as a feeble phenomena that fall into their own
mental bogs of meaning.
The artificial glow that came from the neon lights was strong but
An emotion is suggested and demolished in one glance by certain words.
By the surprising view of a hollow spiralling upward void that the
Other words constantly shift or invert themselves without ending,
these could be called suspended words.
The final pinnacle of this spectacle was the round window in the
ceiling at which all passages of spiralling vision eventually rested
Simple statements are often based on language fears, and sometimes
result in dogma or a non-sense.
The staircase continued the salmon pink theme,
Words for mental processes are all derived from physical things.
With grainy over-painted walls and baskets of hanging plants that
regularly interrupted the stripe of ceiling white.
References are often reversed so that the object takes the place of
These got smaller like the rules of perspective as their positions
moved towards the end of the staircase.
A is A is never A is A, but rather X is A. The misunderstood notion
of a metaphor has it that A is X - that is wrong.
There is one detail that might be overlooked when first encountering
the staircase due to its initial impact.
The scale of a letter in a word changes ones visual meaning of the word.
This was seen in the way the banister was attached until the first floor.
Language thus becomes monumental because of the mutations of advertising.
Here regularly placed were the supports made in the form of 1920s
athletic ladies, their poses held up the banister.
A word outside of the mind is a set of dead letters.
They had through their layers of paint lost the sharpness of their features,
The mania for literalness relates to the breakdown in the rational
belief in reality.
This was only revealed through various chipped areas
Books entomb words in a synthetic rigor mortis, perhaps that is why
print is thought to have entered obsolescence.
Showing that at one time they were gleaming polished figures in bronze
After the first floor they became replaced by standard fittings.
The mind of this death, however, is unrelentingly awake.