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Half-Truth
Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center

Cincinnati (US)
January 27 - February 24, 2017

 

Participating artists: Jillian Bloise, Elizabeth Claffey, Rick Dailey, Jaime de la Jara, Chris Kalmbach, Katia Lifshin, Jennifer Meanley, Zach Nagle, Michael Nichols, Roberto Osti, Bill Porter, Thomas Pfannerstil, Dominic Lippillo & Mark Schoon, Charles Scott, Mark Tennant, Nicolas Vionnet, Margaret Whiting

Curated by Jason Franz and Manifest Gallery  
Photography: Manifest Gallery

"Language is a virus." So goes a song by Laurie Anderson, dramatizing an idea originated in a 1962 William S. Burroughs novel.

As externalized thoughts, words and their assembly have great power. Being external means that ideas and information carried by words are malleable and vulnerable to corruption. Information travels from host to host in biological ways by way of language. And it comes back to its source, often altered, bringing change through subsequent internalization.

Truth as a concept is absolute by definition. The notion of 'personal truths' is an oxymoron. One can only have a relativistic perspective on the truth, a subjective interpretation of what really is. Yet, through consensus, enough relative interpretations combine to operate in effect as truth itself, and are often mistakenly assumed to be irrefutable. (Commonly, philosophers view truth as the correspondence of language or thought to an independent reality.)

What happens when truthful information is altered by the omission of part of the message? What happens for example when a comma is removed from a sentence, or an implication is inserted, and therefore the interpretation of an entire otherwise truthful statement is changed? A half-truth is the result, often intended to make what is only a belief appear to be knowledge. Half-truths mislead through the use of truth as a decoy within which rides an intended deception.

 

According to Wikipedia "A person deceived by a half-truth considers the proposition to be knowledge and acts accordingly."

 

For this exhibit Manifest was very interested in how artists may respond to the concept of half-truth. The common threads shared between the selected works provide intriguing insight into the theme. With this the exhibit offers a story of the true and the believed.

Manifest's blind jury process reviewed 342 works by 119 artists from 29 states and 14 countries for this exhibit. Twenty-two works by 18 artists from 14 states and the countries of Spain and Switzerland were selected for exhibition and will also be featured in the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication (MEA) at the close of the season.