Confounding ordinary notions of legibility, the work of Sonya Lacey addresses the politics of communication by tampering with the concrete textures of language. Specifically conceived for The Vitrine, Speed Reading combines two bodies of work that put the sheer physicality of language to a test. Headlines from The Straits Times and Solar Print Tests (both 2017) result from a series of experiments, undertaken by the artist during her residency at NTU CCA Singapore, where she exposed newsprint paper to both sunlight and artificial light, while Dilutions, an earlier work from 2016, is a sculptural piece involving a movable metal typeface and the process of corrosion determined by lead oxide. Slowly warping over time, the material components entailed in the production and circulation of the written word, Speed Reading alters the boundaries of legibility and shakes the physical foundations of the transmission of knowledge.
Sonya Lacey (b. 1976, New Zealand) works across a variety of media including performance, video, and installation. Her works have been shown at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2017, 2016), Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Art, United Kingdom (2016), and London International Film Festival, United Kingdom (2015). In 2009, she established the collaborative research platform lightreading together with artist Sarah Rose to develop curatorial and publishing projects. Lacey was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore from September to October 2017.
Image credit: Sonya Lacey, Dilutions (detail), 2016, lead type alloy, lead oxide. Courtesy the artist.