Konstfack catalog text, 2014
Some of us claim that what is not spoken outright in a conversation is the most interesting; what is triggered by it, the space between bodies. This ambiguous materialization is intertwined with words, sounds, and gestures.
It’s this peripheral language universe that Joel Hurlburt, though his thinking process and in the making, reflects and gives form to his art project Speaking Volumes, presented as part of the exam exhibition at Konstfack. The project is rooted in Hurlburt’s interest in critically reflecting on the symbolic order and normative coding of language. He asks us to reconsider what we perceive as knowledge when we communicate with each other. Joel’s artistic manifestation, here in a multimodal form including video and sculpture, are results of performative acts, hand gestures giving form to objects. As such they are reflecting the complex matter involved in Joel’s field of inquiry; hovering in the liminal spaces that attempt to give ‘fixed’ form to meaning derived from a constant flux, and at the same time revealing the paradoxical, even contradictory, act in doing so. Speaking Volumes is a celebration of wordless knowledge. It demonstrates precisely through the way it is materialized, that what could be understood as knowledge, could be so much more than what we perhaps thought was possible.
Katja Aglert, 2014
Artist and guest senior lecturer, Konstfack