Translation Piece



Monk’s Translation Piece, 2002, in the same exhibition, involved Chinese whispers-style translations of the catalogue text statement of which Barry’s Telepathic Piece is comprised: ‘During the exhibition I will try to communicate telepathically a work of art, the nature of which is a series of thoughts that are not applicable to language or image’ so that the final confused statement is ‘in this image the way of expression of reactions of the soul attempts to come close to a work of art’.1 In an interview with Monk’s curator for this exhibition, Raimundas Malasauskas, Barry discusses art as a form of mysterious vibration and transmission that may start with the artist, but does not end with the artist: “You never know where it goes. You never know about art, you put art into the world, but you never know who sees it or what they are thinking about it.”2 “Due to its immaterial and open character it could be also linked with the ideology of an open source software, especially after you’ve said ‘the work is always completed by other people.’”3 In one aspect of Jonathan Monk’s appropriative adoption of Robert Barry’s Telepathic Piece of 1969, viewers talked about the work on air via a short-wave radio transistor provided within the Jan Mot Gallery.


  2. Malasauskas, “You never know where it goes.”
  3. Robert Barry: Telepathic Piece, 1969,, cited January 10, 2016; Interview with Bob Nickas, Journal of Contemporary Art, Vol. 5., No 1 Spring 1992.