re-examining verbal language and the power of art in communication

outdoor installation exhibition curated by Birney Robert and Stephanie Koziej featuring the works by Peter Bahouth, Scott Houston, Stephanie Johnson, Arianna Khmelniuk, Stephanie Koziej, Becky Shanks, Bjørn Venø, Blake Weeks

May 19, 2019 | 6 – 9 p.m. | Midtown, Atlanta


The idea behind this project is to transcend the known world of spoken language and written rules and witness a heightened sensory experience. Scent, touch, sound, movement, and visuals will tap into the senses beyond the spoken word. These bodily sensations will take you out of your head and into your body to pay attention to your movements, your senses, your feelings, the present. Moving in and out of the cerebral and into the somatic through art.

Art encourages us to undo our understanding of how language works and to experience communication through other senses. We do not have to ver­balize everything to be understood or heard. Art needs to be at the forefront of society and nurtured as a form of language because of its potential for strong emotional resonance and communication.

The emotional/aesthetic experience of a perfectly tuned conversation is as ecstatic as an artistic experience. The satisfaction of having commu­nicated successfully goes beyond the pleasure of being understood in the narrow sense. It is a ratification of one’s place in the world and one’s way of being human. It is, as Becker calls a well-performed shadow play, ‘a vision of sanity’” (Tannen, D. (1981). New York Jewish conversational style. International Journal of Society and Language 30: 133-149).

This experience will take place outside the gallery/museum walls in a city park in the middle of Atlanta, GA with 8 participating artists; Peter Bahouth, Scott Houston, Stephanie Johnson, Arianna Khmelniuk, Stephanie Koziej, Becky Shanks, Bjørn Venø, and Blake Weeks.

We are all “paying attention” (in quotations) to an incredible array of information, while not giving one thing our full attention. To really pay attention, one needs to be fully present and mindful. When we pay attention in a mindful way, the experience has the potential to move into our long-term memory. For example, neuroscience research at the Massachusetts’s Peabody Essex Museum shows that the more emotionally arousing the exhibit, the more impact the exhibit has on the viewer. This research coupled in the arena of art is incredibly important to show how art and one’s interaction with art can transcend into one’s psyche communicating a lasting memory. Art can communicate such depth, which goes beyond the dominant verbal language that we are immersed with in our daily lives. Art has the power to communicate emotional intensity within our minds and maybe even in our bodies, which makes us present in the world.

sensory landscape takes place outside during the crepuscular hours – the in-between time of twilight. In this “singular” experience, you will be encouraged to walk silently and tap into your own senses while interacting with 8 art installations. At the end of the designated walking path, a more collective experience will take place. At the beginning of this experience little information is given so you can feel as “free” as possible and open to the unknown. This exhibit will go beyond verbal language and tap into communicating with other senses in hopes to create attention and presence.

More info can be found here.

Artists in order of appearance:

Peter Bahouth, highline, 2019

Arianna Khmelniuk, untitled, 2019

Blake Weeks, shadrach, meshach, and abednego, 2019

Bjørn Venø, arthemist vorticity, 2019, 33°47’37.3”N 84°22’34.6”W

Stephanie Koziej, lullaby in yoni, 2019

Stephanie Johnson, alchemical disco, 2019

Becky Shanks, alchemical disco, 2019

Scott Houston, sound as ritual, 2019