MYSTERIES OF VERNACULAR
Part of what I love about the project is the reuse of old, unloved, discarded books. Oreck says all the books she cuts up and draws on for Mysteries of Vernacular are ones she found on the sidewalk and dollar bin. My installation A Migration of Words was a similar project in giving life and agency to the books society has thrown away. For that project I chose books either from the clearance rack at the used bookstore or from the trash itself, rescuing and then dismantling the books to transform them into something new.
But it is more than this material similarity that draws me to Oreck’s Mysteries of Vernacular. I love words and each of these little films is a beautiful journey in to the past, in the history of the word. In a recent interview with The Atlantic, Oreck said that her projects are “intended to instill a sense of wonder in the viewer” and this is certainly the case with this project. With each film you are drawn into the history of word and shown something strange and beautiful and unexpected. I imagine these words sneaking about their days, smugly knowing so much more than we do. Not just the books, medium for the illustration of the story, but the words themselves come to life, and, hours and days later, they stay with you. The films draw me back the importance of words, and of the power they hold.