Oedipus – Ján Mančuška

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installation, sculpture

So, on a recent trip to the Centre Pompidou I came across this text-based sculpture by Slovakian artist Ján Mančuška, entitled Oedipus (2006). The installation, which is composed of strips of laser-cut aluminium letters, engages the individual in an act of self-confession, asking the viewer to think about the everyday, about the relationship between the central character, Dan, and his mother.

The installation is time-based, splitting the story into segments of equal duration, colliding physically in the centre of the room and dispersing just as quickly into the peripheries. The narrative unfolds as the viewer traverses the room in a zig-zag manner, unable to break away until they reach the very final phrase at the right hand side.

This installation illustrates the way in which typography is an artistic force in itself, allowing for notions of subjectivity, narrative and myth to be translated (literally) into a work of art, notwithstanding the basic and inherent beauty that exists in type.

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