Artist Talk by KIM SCHOEN | Language for Sale

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The international group exhibition Language for Sale puts nonsense at its center. Laced with humor, the exhibited works engage with rhetorical and linguistic moments of transition—a change marked by the increasing appearance of nonsense language.


The exhibition was inspired by Kim Schoen’s newly commissioned work Baragouin (2021). Having explored the topics of nonsense and repetition for years, Schoen premieres this most recent experimental installation—named after the French term for “unintelligible jargon”—as part of Language for Sale. Baragouin gives voice to objects the artist filmed in a commercial showroom in Los Angeles that sold copies of sculptures ranging from Buddhist to Rococo and neoclassical to modernist. Working with the assumption that international commerce creates a lingua franca of its own, Schoen mounts a “nonsense opera” in which the knockoff sculptures appear to “speak” in voices relating to the provenance of their assumed originals.


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