Across 12 Soaring Glyphs, Hayal Pozanti Traces the Written Word

A permanent commission at New York’s recently unveiled Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library sees the Turkish artist chronicle 12 milestones of written communication through puzzle-like fiberboard glyphs that reflect a language system of her own design.

“Instant Paradise” (2021) by Hayal Pozanti at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in New York. Photography by Max Touhey, courtesy Jessica Silverman

Here, we ask an artist to frame the essential details behind one of their latest works.

Bio: Hayal Pozanti, 37, Southern Vermont (@hayalpozanti)

Title of work: Instant Paradise (2021).

Where to see it: The New York Public Library’s newest branch, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (455 5th Ave, New York). 

Three words to describe it: Global intuitive cryptology.

What was on your mind at the time: The appreciation of language as a truly universal act that transcends borders, nationalities, and rigid categorical distinctions. Creating work that promotes the possibility of a truly visual global language and reminds viewers of a collective purpose and shared ambitions.

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: The shapes are actually encryptions of numbers. They correlate to dates in which human beings created objects or concepts instrumental to the advancement of written communication. The index of these milestones span historically from clay tablets from the fourth millennium BCE in ancient Mesopotamia, Braille, the invention of the typewriter, to the invention of electronic ink towards the end of the 20th century. 

How it reflects your practice as a whole: I use the same set of inverted shapes to make all of my work. It’s called Instant Paradise and there are 31 characters that correspond to numbers and letters from the English alphabet. I’ve used this encryption system to make this work as well. 

One song that captures its essence: Voyager Golden Record – Greetings in 55 Languages.

Hayal Pozanti. Photography by Elizabeth Bick, courtesy Jessica Silverman
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