When Words and Images Collide: Dena Yago Exposes Inflective Relationships

Can art stand without writing, without words, without explanation? Can poetry stand as visual art if it elicits a visual response; a medium that illustrates the relationship between objects and images, through the vocalization of words?

Dena Yago began her artistic career working primarily in writing, as it was a place for images to emerge specific to the viewer.

By visualizing experiences, places and times, while reading or listening to written words, the richness and precision of language is not lost, but enhances the experience of the visual beauty.

It allows an individualized experience that reveals a great deal about the individual viewer and the way they view their life.

Yago’s work presses on the idea of written language as something that should be seen as much as it is read. The visual aesthetics of language are just as important to the spoken meaning of the word(s).

Her work “attempts to balance a poetic meditation on objects and a more objective meditation on poetry.”

The interaction between words and sculpture contradict to reconcile the function of each piece as mutually exclusive. 

Language and poetry are intrinsic to our lives, allowing us to communicate with other individuals and interactive on emotional levels.

When tethered with visuals, the words confront the image and create a inflective, rather than representational, relationship in which the words detract from the meaning of the visual.

Exploring the relationship between images and text, Yago works against the typical assumption that words always act as an illustrative or metaphorical instrument to images. 

“With my photography, there is more complexity to the images. They are unconstructed scenes photographed in the world, which can exist within the same space as my writing without falling into being understood as metaphor.” 

Text is taken from pop-culture–advertisements, political campaigns, movies and shows, magazines, books–which examine systems of control–love, employment, addiction, political forces.

How does one force interact with another; “how [do] these relationships of control, care, domination, and submission bleed into one another, and how [are] these acted out in spaces that are clearly delimited as free?”

The imagery is taken from the everyday. The text and images are meant to interact to highlight the non-equivalences.

Yago’s work pushes back against any notions that art requires text to make sense, to have practical meaning and to elicit an emotional response.

By deliberately reconceptualizing the relationship between words and images, and distancing the connection between the two, Yago makes each exclusive pieces of art.

Working against each other, the contradiction between image and text, judges the preconceived assumptions of the relationship, asking questions of the assumptions we make of messages we see in pop culture. 

All artwork copyright the artist.

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