Language Game appropriates the writings of philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein as a point of departure for a self portrait. Reading shifting viewpoints between his “Tractatus Logico Philosophicus” (published in 1921) and “Philosophical Investigations” (published in 1953) inspired an analysis of my own approaches to portraiture. In the “Tractatus” Wittgenstein concluded that the structure of reality determines the structure of language, suggesting that language creates a picture of what is real in the world; whereas the later work finds that the structure of language determines what we think of as reality, so that language is simply a tool whose significance lies in how we use it. The shift from the “picture” metaphor to the “tool” metaphor” frames the understanding of words as protean in nature. I’ve found, in retrospect, that my own body of work and interests have undergone a similarly drastic shift. I was previously interested more about how we cope with assigned identities. Now my ideas are more centered around authorship and flexibility in navigating language structures.
Language Game is a writing of Wittgenstein’s texts in repetition across dozens of sheets of paper, the drawing can be assembled into a grid-based diptych. The verso of the portrait is rendered using his earlier text. The recto uses the later text. Part of my interest in creating portraits by writing a text rests in the idea that how we use language determines how we perceive and experience reality. It gives me a platform to consider the ways in which words permeates all human activity.