In Beyond a First Glance, Stephanie Lempert explores communication, both literal and invented. The artist highlights small moments in which humans, objects, or animals seem to communicate in ways one might not initially see or understand. By concentrating on different existing systems of communication and inventing new ones Lempert alters the viewer’s preconceptions of the world in which we live.
Lemperts six recent video pieces are both smart and playful. In Read My Lips (2005), the artist addresses the role of language as a method of communication through the anthropomorphization of the common goldfish. By consulting a speach pathologist, the artist learned to decipher, translate and repeat the words “spoken” by each colorful fish. Similarly, in -.
.-, .-.-, (or New York, New York) (2006), Morse code was used to construct conversations between street lamps and city lights.
The Language of Space, a series of photographs, also address speech and dialogue in the urban space. For this series Lempert recorded converstations occurring at specific locations in New York City, transcribed the words and extracted the text from an image of the conversation’s location. The artist’s process and final “photograph” allows the viewer/reader both to see and read the space, calling attention to the various sounds, words and languages which make any urban space alive.