This project explores language in the urban landscape through sculptural concrete poetry.
Scaffolding and construction mesh – both provisional materials emblematic of the changing city
environment – comprise the two semicircular towers of the outdoor elements of the piece. Mesh
“pages” are hung from the scaffolding and feature graphically dynamic laser-cut texts that are
updated throughout the exhibition.
Domenech gleans these texts from various sources and through different layers of mediation: from
other artists participating in public programs, from compositions submitted on site by Park visitors
like you, via a call-in number, and through the exhibition website laspalabrassonmuros.info. The
artist allows for chance to determine the composition when aggregating this amalgamation of voices
throughout the sixteen-week exhibition.
The project takes its title from a line of the poem “Flamenco” in Big Bang, a book of concrete poetry
by Cuban artist, poet, and critic Severo Sarduy. Las Palabras son Muros embodies many of the
verbal visual metaphors that Sarduy identified and articulated in his writing: the contemporary urban
conditions of dislocation, decentralization, and eccentricity. The title also highlights Domenech’s
interest in how a textual experience of the city shapes its citizens. Words are walls. Language is the
structure that supports and orders the city through street signs, traffic signals, landmark names,
advertising, and the cacophony of voices. Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria], however,
offers the public to actively participate in writing a new urban text through sculptural concrete poetry.
Ideally, this writing process will inspire civic agents to more consciously navigate, experiment, and
intervene in the city that surrounds them.
After the exhibition, Domenech will produce a limited edition publication that combines all the texts,
documents the public programs, and includes reused elements of the mesh installments. The result
will be a collection of fragmented