Exhibition Reception and Opening:
September 25, 2013 at 6:15pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University
The Sheltering Word represents an artist’s quest to explore the healing and protective power of the written word as a specific cultural idiom and takes the form of a dialogue between Greek and North African cultures.
Using entirely natural materials such as cotton fabric, handmade paper and natural inks, reeds, leaves and linen twine, Gonou suggests an interpretation of amulets, “inscribed” talismanic cloths, and “sheltering word” pinax, and thus invents a new magical language in the realm of “written protection.” Working with these raw materials, Gonou is at once meditating on their medical-magical-protective properties and their symbolic meanings. Poetic language has replaced the magic formulas in the artist’s work, raising the question of the healing properties of art in a modern society.