North Projects | Christchuch
June - July 2016
The thinking behind this show stems from the title phrase, which refers to an alphabet signalling system mostly used on naval ships. Semaphore or ‘Oscar’ flags, usually coloured red and yellow, are waved by hand to communicate in emergencies or to signal a ‘man overboard’.
The word Oscar has multiple meanings: a boy’s name, a grouch, a Hollywood award and the code word for the letter ‘o’ in covert or emergency operations. Taking this one word as a starting point, the exhibition reaches out to explore the ambiguities and slipperiness of language, speech and signals.
Weaving together literary and film references from an eclectic range of sources, Oscar: With a sinister hoist, the semaphore flag comprises a series of related works that play with narrative tropes and transcription. Each work samples from, copies, or erases existing film footage or audio and literary material from well-known sources, exploring the physical and intangible space language occupies in different forms.
Images by Daegan Wells and courtesy of North Projects, unless otherwise noted.