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Jason Metcalf



For the past several years I have co-opted Umberto Eco's theory of psuedo-ostensive action as a method of artistic production. Folkloristically, an action is designated as the psuedo-ostension when an individual knowingly recreates or re-enacts a particular legend or myth, and such singularities effectively become real through their physicalization.

I completed a few psuedo-ostensive actions for the Biennale, and was surprised to find direct correlations to superstitious belief from my native Utah. For one piece I clipped my fingernails and placed them in a door hinge in the Grand Rue. In Haiti, the belief is thought to bring food to a household. In Utah the same action is thought to bring wealth to a home.



I hired a Haitian translator to translate a section ("Victor Segalen and the Twenty First Century Creole") from Nicholas Bourriaud's The Radicant into Haitian Creole. Here, Bourriaud proposes creolization as a model for how culture is formed in an increasingly globalized society.

Although I am interested in the theoretical ramifications of translating the work (and in the play on Bourriaud's ideas about contemporary artistic production as being largely an act of translation), I also completed the project for purposes of accessibility and usefulness.


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Enquiries & questions contact: Leah Gordon at:




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Enquiries and questions contact
Leah Gordon at: