My BA in English, fluency in Spanish, and study of Portuguese has made me interested
in language. I’m interested in poetry, literature, writing, and linguistic and rhetorical
theories. In my “Secondary Structures” project, the Minimalist forms I make signify
object, and my choice of materials (books) signifies language. The combination of those
two signifiers means language as object, or object as language. Both meanings are
important to me.
The name of the project itself shares those meanings with the work. “Secondary
Structures” refers to the “Primary Structures” show of Minimalist art in 1966 at the
Jewish Museum and to (post)structuralism in linguistic theory. Language is made up of
arbitrary symbols that, when arranged (or structured) in a certain way, have meaning.
The primary structure of my sculptures is the text of the books, the secondary structure is
the form made of books. In that way, the books actually work as signifiers (like words)
and so the structured arrangement I make with them is analogous to writing.
The Conceptual artists, such as Joseph Kosuth and Robert Barry, among others, were also
interested in linguistic theory. They saw idea as central to art, and following the
linguistic theorists, argued that ideas occur in language. To show this in their art, they
often used language (text) as image. Unlike the Conceptual artists, I am not concerned
with idea as art; rather, I’m interested in art as language. Like they used language as
image, I use language as object. I do this because I believe that objects, especially art
objects, are signifiers like words and, all together, are a sign system that should be read,
like one would read a text, to be understood. Reading the art-text and applying rhetorical
or linguistic theories can inform the historical reading of the contemporary art world in