Young Artists: Thierry Mortier, a semiotic architect

Young Artists: Thierry Mortier, a semiotic architect

This article is part of the BlogSeries: Young artistsHere we present some interesting young artists at our blog.

Thierry Mortier was born in 1974 in Ghent, Belgium. In his art, he is faszinated in the relationship of semiotics and art. Its not about semiotics in art (how experts of art would question) or of art (how semiotics would question). He is following the question of semiotics as art, like an semiotic architect. 

Thierry Mortier about himself: I make noise. white noise … black, brown, red, pink noise. i construct this noise. build it up as a semiotic architecture: a sign, a built up sign. using other signs as its building blocks. semiotic generation through saturation. superimposing signs to construct signs of superposition.

I call them noizuyo-e™, pictures of the noisy world. I am a semiotic architect.

NewtopiaBlog: What kind of art are you creating and what motivates you to make art?
Thierry Mortier: conceptual! As Joseph Kosuth wrote: “All art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in nature) because art only exists conceptually.” Apart from that, my art practice starts from a foundation of semiotic theory making every object, painting, installation mere signs in an ever fluctuating non-stop communication.
As for motivation: I cannot not make art.

N: Why you chose this kind of art?
T.M: As I’m making art … after Duchamp, I don’t see another option? Do you? Seriously, I cannot think in terms of paintings or prints or sculptures … those are just terms denoting a particular kind of signs … I only build signs. I’m a semiotic architect.

N: Who`s your idol in art? Maybe one word, why?
T.M: Joseph Kosuth, Paul Ryan, Martha Rossler, Thomas Kilpper, Hokusai, Fuyuko Matsui, Fukase Masahisa … not necessarily idols, but rather Masters I’ve learned from.

N: In which context you would say, your art is connected to the issues of Human Rights?
T.M: As a whole, no artist can escape the human condition, as a person & in his/her art. All art is of its time & … human, as the concept is man-made. In particular to the two pieces I’m sending in.
1) The ‘personal anti-tank shopping bag’ is a work commemorating the ‘tank man’ aka the chinese young man that stood up to the tanks on the Tienanman square in 1989. On the outside it looks just like a plastic shopping bag on a hanger ready to take in the groceries. The inside is stamped with images of tanks & the outline of the tank man. & just on the outside one single stamp of the tank man offers the hint that the humblest of objects, or better the humblest of subjects can take a stand & make a dent in the fabric of history.
2) ‘Critical path’ tries to capture in one single sign the current state of affairs with a very poignant looking IV-stand with the actual iv connected to a heart via barbed wire. It’s the superposition of the image we would like to see (a heart in need getting necessary treatment), with the image we’ve actually made (a heart in need, constrained by barbed wire & the needed treatment again constrained by barbed wire).

see more pictures of his semiotic-art-work: