Cover Art for Inverted Syntax
Online Issue 1
by Sophia Nicolosi
from the editor
When the editorial staff and I were first identifying themes for our print and online issues, we didn’t realize we were also building our language, a way for you to read us. We didn’t realize that when we separated works into print and online, we were making decisions not only about theme, but also about urgency— about what we believed needed to be ever-present in our digital, always on, always free, always available format; we didn’t realize that the language collection we were curating from submissions was not only of words and images, but that which when placed together, presented a collection that spilled its colors outside the lines, in disquieting and exhilarating form and content, re-forming language.
We didn’t ask for pieces about borders and refugees, place and displacement, but that is what we got. From the political to the personal, the works we received invariably had something interwoven about isolation and loss. The work we present to you in our inaugural issue is made by artists in a variety of mediums: painters, photographers, poets, fiction and nonfiction writers— many of whom are working to blend genre into a new thing, yet who may still write or create art traditionally in order to break with tradition. And throughout, pairing visual arts with written works, we’ve blended in a layer that shadows or echoes the other.
While the English language has long been a symbol of imperialistic power, used to create hierarchies and division, we also recognize that this language can be reformed. We persist with the language we have, revolting against it to arrive at what and how we want to communicate, because as Adrienne Rich says, while writers cannot refuse the language they have been dealt, writers “can re-fuse the language given to him or her, bend and torque it into an instrument for connection instead of dominance and apartheid: toward what Edouard Glissant has wonderfully called ‘the poetics of relation’.”
It is apt that the issue begins with Metres’ and Kalfopoulou’s pieces around the relationship between language and suffering for human beings in displacement. The collection progresses between a consciousness of self, whether in relation to geography, physical or literal , to the conscious attempts to fracture and reconfigure language. At the heart of our collection is the complexity of familial relationships, straddling elements of discord and need for acceptance.
These are the works joining Manet at the ‘Salon des Refusés’, works that are brilliant and necessary, always uplifting and mercurial, speaking from the future — a medley of ‘re-fused’ works, for us, the Inverted camp celebrating those members of the Refusés. The works in Inverted Syntax online issue 1 including the The Art of the Postcard series, are all a call to action, for you to do something— in your life at home, in your community and dare we say, in your world. Each piece, a daring creation ubiquitously resisting conformity and complacency, takes memorable, haunting approaches to art and language that turn us inside out and convey novel insights into the human experience.” Together with the accompanying art, your senses start reaching outside the imposed language lines and you start allowing yourself to experience language and art viscerally, on your terms.