In the library at North Carolina State University, artist José Parlá took on an interesting and complex concept—the nature of language. The artist called the piece “a written painting” explaining that it is “an abstract landscape of words, phrases, names and poetic thoughts inspired drifting through Raleigh.”
Tackling a blank white wall with bold red, Parlá overlays linear white marks that seem to be an unreadable language. But rather than just an exercise in mark-making, the line work is actually words and characters that are interlaced and overlapped. The painted words are of different languages, the countries they come from, the people who have been influential to language studies, and more. In a library, a building dedicated to the written word, it is rather appropriate for even its walls to explore concepts of writing and language.
Listen to the artist discuss the piece in the video below.