Untitled Document

WORD MATTERS: Spinning a Line and Crafting a Visual Language - David Bate, Laura McLean-Ferris, Professor Simon Olding, Stephanie James, Lee Triming, and Jim Hunter

Date: June 2007

Exhibition Type: text+word Seminars at the Venice Biennale


Word Matters: Two text + work seminars delivered through a partnership with ArtSway on the occasion of New Forest Pavilion at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

As part of a collaboration between ArtSway and the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, a project supported by and enabled by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), two text + work seminars were presented to a global audience during the 52nd international art exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, under the title Word Matters. Chaired by Jim Hunter, the seminars explored the relationship between the written word and contemporary art practice.

Reaching no definitive conclusions, Word Matters is a discussion, an exploration, into text as label and as access; text as catalogue and as critique; as interpretation and as an accompaniment; text as descriptive and as narrative; and text as gossip and performance. It is a debate about the limitations and the possibilities of words, and an observation of the contemporary art world and its ongoing conversations.

While the first seminar, Spinning a Line, made only brief references to works in this year’s Biennale, the second seminar, Crafting a Visual Language, saw Stephanie James and Jim Hunter take the audience on linguistic journeys of the works of French artist Tatiana Trouvé, and of Bill Viola’s Ocean Without A Shore.

Guest speakers: David Bate, Stephanie James, Professor Simon Olding, Lee Triming, and Laura McLean-Ferris. The seminars were chaired by Jim Hunter.


  • Word Matters published by text + work, the Arts Institute at Bournemouth £3.00

    ISBN: 9788-0-901196-23-1

    The Word Matters publication contains the transcripts from the seminars Spinning a Line (David Bate, Stephanie James, Laura McLean-Ferris, Lee Triming. Chaired by Jim Hunter), and Crafting a Visual Language (Stephanie James and Professor Simon Olding) as well as the live audio version of the seminars.

    To order a copy for £3 + £1.50 P&P please contact the Gallery Office

    (Download PDF for full essay / text)