A picture is worth a thousand words as the saying goes.
However, they also say The pen is mightier than the sword.
Words are powerful; images are potent. Each is a form of communication
that requires us to use our critical thinking abilities. Both forms
of expression can manipulate the way we think and feel.
Combined images and words can change the meaning of one another--subtly
or radically. In contemporary art practices, artists often deliberately
create dissonance between words and images--fulfilling the artists
role of shaking up expectations, creating a gap in the smooth transmission
of conventional perceptions and ideology.
The Words and Images project was inspired by the often insipid inspirational
posters that seem to be ubiquitous in contemporary schools and offices.
The students enjoyed skewering the over serious and over sincere
tone of these posters--kitsch text/image pieces in which the picture
usually acts only as an obvious illustration of the pedantic concept
This project is not about representing a pre-conceived idea of how
things are or should be. The project begins with students taking
photographs at home and around the school of things that appeal
to them aesthetically. After reviewing standard inspirational messages
and studying the art of artists who make use of words in their artwork,
the students play with words and images, as they do so observing
the way context changes and generates meaning.
What results occur when pairing a text with various images? Is the
initial intent altered, substituted, or enhanced? Does the visual
The final, often humorous, pieces make use of unexpected, unplanned
juxtapositions that cause viewers to pause to consider their experiences
and expectations in light of new, often quirky, concepts.