1.9.2022

Rethinking labels in art institutions

A poster with many diagrams and images that chronologically represents the work process of the collective Britto.
documenta fifteen: Label for Britto Arts Trust by Anna Farley, 2022

Invited by lumbung member Project Art Works, autistic artist Anna Farley has been working with documenta fifteen since May 2022 on rethinking how we communicate via labels in the exhibition.

Farley makes art about her autism and has been showing the way forward to neurodiversity awareness and engagement for institutions such as The Turner Prize and Tate Modern for which she has developed visual guides that offer visitors another way of accessing the artistic projects and artworks on display.

Farley’s project for documenta fifteen is conceived as a learning process that results in a number of large-scale labels. The first two labels have been installed on September 1 in the exhibition spaces of Britto Arts Trust at documenta Halle and Project Art Works at Fridericianum, Hübner areal, and Stadtmuseum Kassel. Further visual labels at other lumbung members’ venues will follow soon and will also be made available on documenta fifteen’s website.

Farley uses color, graphic structure, and imagery to communicate with as little text as possible the when, where, how, why, and what of the individual lumbung members’ projects in their local contexts and their translation to the exhibition in Kassel. As artworks, the labels proactively challenge communication in art institutions and the need to address their established neurotypically biased practices. In this way, anyone and everyone can enjoy a more visual and sign-based way of communicating in art spaces.

To communicate with as little text as possible, Farley uses visual tactics of color, graphic structure, and imagery, to understand the when, where, how, why and what the lumbung members are doing in their local contexts and for their translation to the exhibition in Kassel.

As artworks the labels proactively challenge communication in art institutions and the need to address their established neurotypically biased practices. With that anyone and everyone can enjoy a more visual and sign-based way of communicating in art spaces.

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