Peace, war, love, environment, freedom, religion, democracy, government, happiness, socialism, capitalism, future, and United States.
Against the backdrop of an international geopolitical landscape undergoing tumultuous and historic changes, Brian Dailey created the multi-screen video installation WORDS around a list of thirteen words that speak to larger philosophical concerns facing humanity. This towering project is the creative summation of an odyssey that has taken him to over 100 countries over the course of six years in his investigation into the impact of globalization on the interrelation between language, culture, and environment. While offering a contemporary turn on primordial stories such as the Tower of Babel, the kaleidoscopic, cacophonous, and mesmerizing structure is rooted in the present and seeks to elucidate through this inventive vehicle how languages, and the words upon which they are built, shape our global realities. A powerful visual expression of the challenges faced in communicating across linguistic boundaries and national borders in today’s world, WORDS also reveals the captivating dynamism of humanity in the expressive, physical presence of the range of personalities who come to life on the flickering screens.
WORDS and its companion print series, Words about WORDS, compel viewers to come to terms with the fluid relationship between language and concept and between interpretation and meaning. Confronting us with the multivalent nature of words, the artwork inspires greater appreciation for the mutability of language in constructing meaning. While sharing with other conceptual artists like Joseph Kosuth, Mel Bochner, and Xu Bing a concern for the function and limitations of language in creating meaning, Dailey brings his unique, multifaceted background in art, philosophy, and international relations to bear in his far-reaching and protracted exploration of these issues.
Countries visited to date:
Antarctica, Armenia, Barbados, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Îles des Saintes, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In the majority of countries visited, we relied on local guides and generous support from ToursbyLocals.
Follow the artist on his international odyssey:
The multi-screen installation premiered on January 27, 2018 at the American University Museum in Washington D.C. Future international venues TBD.