Judith Brotman

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New Word, Pencil

New Word takes its inspiration from a passage in the Jewish mystical tradition, The Zohar: “ ‘I have been pursuing this word all the days of my life!’ ” (The Essential Kabbalah, Daniel C. Matt p.161) Each person who enters the gallery is invited to select a word from the approximately 1000 words—invented by me— written on the gallery wall. Should they find the word that seems to be the right fit, the next step is to strike a line through the selected word and leave their contact information. Each person is given time to reflect upon their word choice. Finally, should they wish to keep the word, I contact the person in order to finalize the transaction. A legal document is then signed by both of us, indicating that I will not give the selected word to anyone else. The word is then theirs to run to, hide from, bury in the garden, and/or puzzle over for all time.

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