Cerith Wyn Evans, 'Palindrome'

Thursday 18 April 2013

During a free day this week I took myself over to the Whitechapel Gallery to see if there were any new exhibitions open - and was lucky to find the entire gallery was full of things I hadn't seen before. I love 'clever' words and phrases (I'm an English student, what can I say) and so a piece by Cerith Wyn Evans in the new display of artwork from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo particularly caught my attention. It is another version of the piece shown above, which is a palindromic Latin phrase - 'in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni'. It roughly translates to 'We go round and round at night and are consumed by fire' and is probably a new phrase of mine. Since looking up the original Latin, I've been quite taken with palindromic phrases - the 'verse of the devil' - but they tend not to make much sense.

Bulgarian: 'Metal music is mighty' Нещо метълът е мощен
Catalan: 'To be or not to be' S'és o no s'és
Chinese: 'All for one, one for all' 人人為我,我為人人
Greek: 'Cleanse our sins, not only our face' Νίψον ανομήματα μη μόναν όψιν
Spanish: ''It is Adam, now you see, I am Eve and I know nothing' Es Adán, ya ve, yo soy Eva y nada sé

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