Speaking in Tongues: A Look at the Language of Display

January 16, 1999May 2, 1999

Interventions by Fred Wilson
The internationally-exhibited New York artist Fred Wilson is renowned for his museum "interventions," often surprising and controversial additions and alterations to conventional museum displays which attempt to challenge viewers' ideas about the traditional role of the museum. Wilson's work often forces museums to reexamine their roles as "keepers of culture,"and encourages visitors to be aware of coexisting historical and cultural facts that are seldom addressed in traditional museum diplays.

In Speaking in Tongues: A Look at the Language of Display, Fred Wilson acts as both artist and curator when he intervenes in several of the de Young's galleries, including the early-19th-century Newburyport, Massachusetts, period furniture room, the Hudson River School gallery of American landscapes, and Hearst Court. Another installation by Wilson, The Greeting Gallery, will be on view in Gallery 44 as part of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts exhibitions at the de Young.