La Turo de Babel – Galleri Rotor August 23-26th 2012

Artists: Per Bäckström (Sweden), Özgür Demirci (Turkey), Mohammad Fadaie (Iran), Julie Fournier Lévesque (Quebec, Canada), Allison Hunter (USA), Gong Xinru (China), Neda Zarfsaz (Iran).  

Curated by Emelie Storm, Yitian Tong, Azadeh Esmaili Zaghi:
The endeavour for universal forms of communication is something humans have pursued for centuries, as seen in the parable about the tower of Babel, the creation of mathematics or invention of Morse code. In the 19th Century, there were three different attempts to create a universal language: Solresol, Volapük and Esperanto, the latter of which is still used but lost much of its popularity during the two world wars.
The curatorial premise of La Turo de Babel (the Tower of Babel in Esperanto) is to engage artists and designers from different parts of the world in an exploration of visual communication that transcends geographical borders and cultural differences. La Turo de Babel will show a multitude of universal symbols by artists—either commissioned for this exhibition or pre-existing works—that represents a social position or a political perspective. Our hope is that the collection of symbols, which aims to supplement language, will create a platform that raises questions and conversations about the subject of universalism. Does the use of visual symbols succeed in universal communication? Or are misunderstandings and confusion an unavoidable consequence while communicating between people with different backgrounds and cultural perspectives?
Featured in the exhibition is American artist Allison Hunter’s work on road signs in combination with hobo street-code symbols selected from the project Signmakers. Per Bäckström from Gothenburg has created two symbols for the exhibition also questioning what can be universally understood.  Chinese artist Gong Xinru utilizes his background as a graphic designer for a selection of works. An interesting comparison of positions on universalism will be on view through new commissions by Iranian artists Neda Zarfsaz and Mohammad Fadaie, each working with different materials and techniques. Former Valand students, Özgür Demirci from Istanbul and Julie Fournier Lévesque from Quebec, will each exhibit a new work in response to the premise; hers will deal with questions of censorship, a universal phenomenon that today seems more important than ever.
The exhibition is organized under the summer course Curating and Cultural Production Strategies: Galleri Experimentell at Valand School of Fine Arts in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Opening: 18.00- 20.00, 23rd August 2012
Duration: 24rd- 26th August 2012, 13-18pm
Venue: Galleri Rotor, Valand School of Fine Arts, Vasagatan 50, entrance Teatergatan