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Bringing art discourse to the deaf

A dictionary of contemporary art terms in sign language is launched in New York

Dictionary of Contemporary Art in Italian Sign Language, by the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and the Turin Institute of the Deaf

new york. A panel discussion held tonight at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York explores a new book that bridges the gap between visual art and sign language. The Dictionary of Contemporary Art in Italian Sign Language, edited by the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art and the Turin Institute of the Deaf, presents a collection of 80 signs created to guide the hearing-impaired through the contemporary art world.

The book is result of a programme that began at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin in 2006, which aims to create a sophisticated non-spoken language about contemporary art. In the dictionary, each new sign for a term is explained with a written summary and is accompanied by an illustrative work of art.

To celebrate the project, the Italian Cultural Institute of New York is hosting a panel discussion tonight entitled “Silence Speaks About Art”. The four guest speakers include: Luciano Candela, the president of the deaf association “Unione ex-allievi sordi dell’Istituto dei Sordi di Torino (Union of the alumni of the Deaf Institute of Turin)”; Enrico Dolza, a professor of sign language at Turin University; Brunella Manzardo from the Castello di Rivoli education department; and writer and art historian Anna Mecugni.

The book is published by Umberto Allemandi Editore (which also published The Art Newspaper) in both Italian and English.

“Silence Speaks About Art” is being held at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, 686 Park Avenue, Wednesday, 19 October, at 6pm

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