JEAN KLIMACK
putting words in your mouth
(1 of a series of 20)
2003
Chiclets, plexi glass box, Letraset
12"x12"
In my work, putting words in your mouth, I see a relationship existing between gum and words. My project uses un-chewed Chiclets gum to represent individual words. Letraset words are applied to gum surfaces, thereby suggesting a relationship between the gum-word and its user. I feel that the gum-word refers to the event or activity that is about to take place. Gum and the subjectivity of words can both be sticky.

Various phrases that I applied on the Chiclets reflect expressions that occur with some regularity during conversations. With Plexiglas, I assembled 20 games. Players are invited to manipulate the games by tilting them from side to side. The gum-words act as game pieces by sliding vertically and horizontally. Each player is an integral part of this work by causing and controlling new gum-phrases. The title of each game is the initial phrase; the various gum-phrases derived from the initial phrase creates interesting permutations.

This piece exploits the fragility of words by showing how the meaning is dependent on the placement of the word within a phrase; that is, the meaning of a gum-word is dependent on its place in a gum-phrase. Word play that occurs during the use of each game reflects the misinterpretations of speech in everyday communications. This can also be seen as (others) putting words in your mouth.
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