How to talk about an exhibition that can’t be visited? This is the question that Sophie Cure tries to answer regarding the exhibition of her work, Les champs sémantiques, the result of a residency at the art centre Le Bel Ordinaire in Pau, France. The exhibition was supposed to open on the 8th December 2020; the sanitary conditions drastically limited all related events, from guided tours and performances to workshops. Refusing the evidence of taking the exhibition “online”, Sophie Cure invited the poet Julien Van Anholt to capture some “lexical shots” of the exhibition, entitled “The exhibition contains maybe”. These poetic interpretations in a hundred signs aim at giving clues of what is exhibited, while keeping the mystery of the locked place: it is also a way of not showing, refusing to make accessible online what has to be experienced physically.
Sophie Cure is a graphic designer who likes to play with words: her whole practice is a questioning of the evidence of reading and semantics, as the title of the exhibition – which can be translated as “the semantic fields” – shows. To set the multiple words that surround her practice and that she plays with, Sophie Cure chose Minotaur from Production Type and Gräbenbach from Camelot Type. In Julien Van Anholt’s lexical shots, Minotaur’s wide eye encourages the reader to pay a closer attention to the word and its presence in space: each letter looks stressed by the fragmentation of its contour, and Sophie Cure uses this characteristic as a means to make letters and words visible not only as language but also as forms. The association with vectorial lines linking in different ways the words dispersed in the square format brings us back to some aspects of visual and concrete poetry, where the visuality of the poem is indissociable from its content. The semantic play at work within the exhibition, as can be seen on the few mysterious pictures that were taken of the inside, is here experienced through the attention given to letters and their spatiality.