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Acronymia

It can be no accident that so many consumer brands rely on acronyms. After all, one of the earliest acronyms still in use occurs in the context of a religious cult. Scholars have yet to agree on what precisely the letters IHS stand for, but no one doubts that they encapsulate in shorthand the entire Christian message. Precisely because it speaks only to the initiated, an acronym has the power to transform a collection of products or services into a way of life. Acronymia seeks to engage us in a debate about the use/under-use of public space. Appropriating the language of the vibrant consumer landscape, Prost’s ‘acronym laboratory’ disseminates a series of acronyms on surfaces across the city. Becoming progressively more visible over the course of several weeks, the acronyms initially appear unexplained. Slowly the blanks are filled in, through products, discussion and documentation on a website. The process of initiation on which Acronymia relies is as important as the issues it seeks to raise. In his attempt to stimulate discussion, Prost intends not just to prompt us to reflect on the nature and value of public space, but also to test the mechanisms for public debate. Sorcha Carey

Project Credits Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial International 06 Supported by Northwest regional Development Agency The National Lottery through Arts Council England Canada House Arts trust Quebec Government Office, London Consell des arts et des lettres du Quebec Albert Dock Company Ltd

Date

16 September – 26 November 2006