Shifter’s Ode

2010
Trophies; ‘shifters’ engraved onto the chalices in different languages.

Shifter’s Ode is an ode to ‘shifters’ in language. These small deictic words are omnipresent in our languages but often pass unnoticed. They shift their denotational meaning according to the context of speaker and situation. Here, these small words are engraved onto trophies. The subtext of trophies as objects is that they represent a subject who is temporarily designated by a prize: just as words travel from one subject to the next to designate a current meaning, trophies travels from one season’s winner to the next. This is a game with conventional forms, both in terms of object and linguistic fact. Shown at Return Gallery, Dublin, 2011; at Helmhaus 2010; and in 2013 at Museum Bärengasse, Zürich.

Photos: Elisabeth Real