|curator's statement||november 2010 selection|
t r e a t m y w o r d s
c u r a t o r : j o h n c h a i c h
"Typography exists to honor content," declares Robert Bringhurst in The Elements of Typographic Style, considered a milestone in understanding and designing with type.
As a writer and graphic designer, I am naturally drawn to using words. Yet the more I study design, the less interested I am in executing typographic perfection as I am understanding how the way words look can imply or alter what these words mean.
Typography by skill is a visual treatment of words.
Typography by philosophy is a medium of meaning.
Or, according to Bringhurst, "a craft by which the meaning of a text (or the absence of meaning) can be clarified, honored and shared, or knowingly disguised."
Can the same be said for the way artists work with text?
This quest for finding works that use text -- and what visual treatments they employ to create meaning -- guided my curatorial exploration through the Visual AIDS slide archives.
Over nine hours and three visits, I selected text-based works in which:
Moreover, I pondered: What do these words say about the public's response to HIV/AIDS? Do these works speak directly to living with AIDS and/or the way we read art, or do their words engage, ignore or even attack the viewer?
Perhaps Treat My Words can make us all look differently at how we see the words we write.
b i o g r a p h y
Beginning his career as an HIV testing counselor and community educator, John Chaich has designed a range of multi-arts projects to raise AIDS awareness, from an educational theatre project funded with support from Do Something and the Red Hot Organization, to a nationally distributed edutainment zine by and for young adults, to social marketing campaigns recognized by Print magazine and most recently, assisting Visual AIDS with its annual broadside campaigns. He has written on visual responses to HIV/AIDS for Art & Understanding magazine, as well as contributed to BUST magazine and the anthology, Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image. Chaich holds a BA in Communications from Hiram College and will receive his MFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in May 2011. www.johnchaich.com