Ecstatic Alphabets, MOMA (2012)


“In a drawing from 1966, ‘Heaps of Language,’ Robert Smithson assembled a pyramid of words about words: ‘Language’ at the apex, supported by ‘phraseology speech,’ ‘tongue lingo vernacular,’ and on down through a base of synonyms. The playful exhibition ‘Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language,’ opening on Sunday at the Museum of Modern Art, borrows Smithson’s title and runs wild with his vision of words as materials. . .
One could spend a long time here, listening to poets and staring at Bruce Nauman’s hypnotic flashing neon piece ‘Raw War.’ But that’s all prologue; the show begins, in earnest, with a short printed text by Sharon Hayes — one of four woven through the galleries and installed so close to the floor that you have to crouch down to read them. In these paragraphs Ms. Hayes puts herself forth as Virgil to the viewer’s Dante, though she also assumes the roles of spurned lover, diarist and political agitator.” [. . .]    –Karen Rosenberg, The New York Times, May 3, 2012