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Once More, with Feeling
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Women's Studio Workshop Residency
The Architecture of Conversation
Writer's Block / Writer's Black

Images, from left to right:
1 & 2 Colloquy
3 & 4 Soliloquy (After Bakhtin)
5 & 6 Imbroglio
7 & 8 His Voice Unraveling Like a Ribbon Dropped from a Roof
9 The Past of Speech
10 Hot Air

 

The Architecture of Conversation began as a series of studies examining a collapse in communication between two people, through the use of the universally recognised (and oft scorned) speech balloon. Later, however, the project became more focused on linguistic theory and semantics. Philosophers such as Mikhail Bakhtin with his theories on spoken and thought words and Jacques Derrida’s deconstructionist principles have particularly informed this body of drawn, printed and sculptural works.

 

Mikhail Bakhtin wrote extensively about the ‘utterance’: its boundaries, its length, its intonation and the speaker’s ‘speech plan’. His work also concerned the connection between the speaker and the listener, and beyond this, the speaker and the community. Bakhtin proposed that whilst our words belong to us, they also belong to everyone else, including all who came before us. As a result, whilst we may feel that our words are our own, they have been heavily influenced by all with whom we have made contact and those who surround us, and therefore do not truly belong to us, or indeed to anyone.

 

  Jacques Derrida’s methods of critiquing established language theory by turning words, theories and frameworks inside out and over on their heads have also played a part in how this work and the resulting publication has unfolded. The work attempts to draw attention to linguistic conventions whilst simultaneously deconstructing those same conventions. The speech balloon is one of these. It is a visual code that we use readily with little thought to its usage, meaning, associated past and potential for further exploration.

 

You can see how this project unfolded by visiting Sketchbook (my blog) the Women's Studio Workshop Residency button on the above menu, or clicking here.



 

Exhibited at:
Lizzie Ridout - Current Work
, Women's Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York, USA

Message
, Plymouth University, UK
The Architecture of Conversation, Plymouth University, UK