Jorinde Voigt, “Piece for Words and Views”
When reading, words often produce specific images in the reader’s imagination. Jorinde Voigt’s series, Piece for Words and Views, based on Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, explores this phenomenon. The series transforms specific words from Barthes’ text into both abstract and representational imagery. The abstract signifies Voigt’s own view, while the representational components communicate a collective language. For example in Piece I, the telephone is representational, while Olympus is an abstract shape based on the real form of a mountain, conceived through the artist’s imagination. Voigt transcribes each image that springs to her mind to color and form, drawing them in contour on colored vellum. She creates the final product through collaging the multiple images, forming an ambiguous relation among them.
Each of Voigt’s pieces in this series animates the movement from Barthes’ words to her images. In Piece XVII, Voigt describes this shift with curved arrows, assigning each image a speed between 1-7 km/h. These directional lines become musical through line and repetition. Also, the collages follow the formal structure of Barthes’ text, which is similar to a dictionary, consisting of 80 fragments arranged in alphabetical order. Within each entry, Barthes collages intertextual references from famous writers and philosophers on the subject of love. As in Voigt’s work, the fragments present multiple ideas and elements that form the overall structure of the discourse. The reader, much like the viewer of Piece for Words and Views, attempts to understand the various elements through similarity and juxtaposition, resulting in the production of meaning through the interpretation of text/image, and the reader’s imagination.
Jess Alperin `18
Image: (Installation View) Piece for Words and Views, Jorinde Voigt: Synchronicity, August 27–December 20, 2015