The work of Cerith Wyn Evans defies easy categorization. After graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 1984, Wyn Evans directed experimental films and music videos. He gained a reputation during the 1990s as an artist who transformed complex issues of communication and perception into poetic artworks. To accompany the 2001 William Blake exhibition at Tate Britain, Wyn Evans created an installation where Blake’s poetry, randomly selected by a computer, was translated into Morse code and reflected off a disco ball in a disorienting pattern of light that swirled over gallery walls and viewers.
Although his work has been in such international exhibitions as “Documenta XI” (2002) and the “50th Venice Biennale” (2003), this is Wyn Evans’ first solo US museum survey. At the MFA seven crystal chandeliers illuminate the galleries, each periodically flashing Morse code versions of a series of texts—the original words and Morse code translations are displayed on computer screens set into the gallery walls. Wyn Evans’ sources range from film to literature to philosophy, creating what he calls a “catalyst or reservoir of possible meanings that, for the viewer, could unravel many discursive journeys,” leaving it to the visitor to interpret and experience the work in his or her own way.