A Range of Overstood Grammars showcases a selection of texts, prints and posters in dialogue with the exhibition Je suis by Montreal based artist Michael Eddy, presented in the space next to the Reading Platform. Derived from another project by American artist Dan S. Wang, entitled similarly A Ragbox of Overstood Grammars, the installation contributes to expanding ongoing questions about freedom of speech, public self-expression, activism, art, as well as political and artistic engagement.
A Ragbox of Overstood Grammars is a twenty-year survey of print media work by Michigan-born artist Dan S. Wang. The eighty-eight prints represent a deep craft element in a practice that moves between writing, organizing, and making art. Mostly printed from handset wood and metal type on vintage papers, some wear the Propositions Press imprint, the name of the basement printing office Wang assembled in the nineties in Chicago. Conceived in equal opposition to the aesthetic dependencies of digital design, on the one hand, and the preciousness of gratuitously bespoke fine press printing, on the other, the Ragbox presents twenty years of skirting lines, both formal and political. In moving from his lifelong home of the Great Lakes region to Southern California in 2018, Wang liquidated the printing office. The prints are grouped as follows:
TIME OF A WORLD
Prints and posters made for actual events. Most feature a date and/or real names and locations, and most prints from these editions were consumed as window signs and functional posters in advance of the event. The remnants exist as documents of art scenes, networks, and a history of organizing.
Overtly political prints made for use as demonstration placards, window signs, notices, and handouts. Most were embedded in movements or campaigns or created in timely fashion in response to current events.
FUTURES PAST AND NEW NOWS
Experimental prints. Philosophical fragments, poetic gestures, open-ended meaning, and speculative content live here.
MESSAGES FROM THE RUINS
Cards, stickers, bookmarks, novelties, and anonymous agitators.
Dan S. Wang/王念華 is an artist and writer. His prints, drawings, and sculptures have been shown in more than fifty exhibitions, in spaces ranging from museum galleries to toilet stalls, and the toilet stall of a museum. Recent published writings include the collaborative texts The Social Practice That Is Race co-authored with Anthony Romero, published by Wooden Leg Press, and the critical essay “In the Back of the Beyond” in Global Activism from MIT Press, co-authored with Sarah Lewison. Recent commissioned works include an experimental curriculum for Asian Arts Initiative of Philadelphia and a new installation for Station Museum of Houston. Born in 1968 in Michigan in the United States, Dan S. Wang lives and works in Los Angeles, California.