Perfect Language (Maya) is an exhibition by resident-artist Yucef Merhi which addresses the linguistic legacy of Mayan civilization. According to Merhi, language is the primary matter of our culture and identity. Indeed, it is the operating system for our perception. Perfect Language (Maya) consists of 6 installations made from organic materials, as well as a programmed video installation. Each of the artworks was produced by the application of a universal, sensorial, meta-language – proposed by Merhi a decade ago – called Perfect Language.
This exhibition is the final product of the first Artist Residence in Concepcion 41 (C41), which Merhi began in September 2014. The artists’ research was supported by experts in Mayan culture, including archaeologists, epigraphists, historians, writers, botanists and naturalists, among others.
Merhi says of his residence: “Once I decided to engage the Perfect Language system, I embraced the natural elements present in C41. It was an organic process, identifying the materials that were accessible to me and how they combined together; it was important that the space speak for itself – the plants and the stones, the earth and the wood, communicate harmoniously with the visitors. If one examines human nature as depicted in Mayan thought, these relationships become significant.”
Reflecting on the work he produced, Merhi admits that this is his most ambitious “Land Art” project. However, Merhi says, “I prefer that people don’t dwell on the aesthetics and take the work as it is, without interpreting the image that the stones produce, but rather seeing each individual stone for what it is… By perceiving the stone, and not the representation which the stone produces, we can move beyond the illusion of what we see, and appreciate what it really is.”
Yucef Merhi (1977) is a Venezuelan artist, poet and computer programmer, based in New York. He is the pioneer of Digital Art in Venezuela.