Liberated from Signoclasm

The performance art Liberated from Signoclasm was performed by Jolanta Lapiak at Interakcje 2007 (International Performance Art Festival) at Galeria OFF in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland on 11 May 2007.

Lapiak articulated in American Sign Language (ASL) in front of the audience of various backgrounds and cultures (thus different languages). Despite that none in the audience knew a signed language, this performance visually presented a powerful voice. The performance reflected a history of phonocentrism and signoclasm (coined by the artist). Like iconoclasm, signoclasm is referred to the prohibition of using sign language through coercion or oppression.

Interakcje in ASL

"Selected words were torn out of the yellowish pages of an old dictionary and they were individually crumbled. The crumbled pages were pushed into my mouth in reference to the historical coercion of orality against manually speaking (or sign language). My body's rejection then purged them out of my mouth. The crumbles then were burnt for freedom."

Interakcje in ASL performance

Interakcje in ASL performance


© photographs and statement by Jolanta Lapiak at