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Condensed Pocket Oxford English Dictionary


artist | Emily Lazerwitz

2014

Mixed media

12 × 20 x 6 cm / 4.7 × 7.9 x 2.4 in

Pocket Oxford English Dictionary and sharpie.

This dictionary is both a work on its own and a remnant of a performance, the performance being the act of reading the dictionary. Yet Lazerwitz did not just read the dictionary, she also ... Read more
Pocket Oxford English Dictionary and sharpie.

This dictionary is both a work on its own and a remnant of a performance, the performance being the act of reading the dictionary. Yet Lazerwitz did not just read the dictionary, she also condensed or, rather, censored it. What remains is an object that cannot be used. A dictionary that has only words left are semantic primes - words that essentially cannot be defined.

It recalls actions of government destruction of text whether that be through redacted information or the extreme of biblioclasm. The irony is, of course, that this is text that most people have not read in full and may not have interest in reading in its entirety. It becomes more precious because of the response to action not the action to the specific work. It can also be said that given its scale, format, and age the work resembles the Bible. Read less

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