Classroom of Language

An exhibition by Rad Hourani

October 6 — December 16, 2023

Opening — Thursday, October 5, 2023 – 5:30 PM @ Artexte


“Nativist though they may seem, the writing systems we use to communicate are learned and acquired practices. Through syntax and lexicon, society continues to defer to authority by treating traditionally educated individuals with respect and praise, while overlooking and neglecting those who do not echo a similarly literate proficiency.

Rooted in my own experience as a neurodivergent artist, the exhibition Classroom of Language aims to open a dialogue on invisible disabilities and the divisive issues of written language. By reinventing the classroom and the alphabet, I question how linguistics might better facilitate the structures of our synthetic languages, while challenging the norms and binary conceptions contained within language.

This body of work also questions the lack of sensorial stimulation in pedagogy and public spaces, shedding light on a discriminatory educational heritage for neurodiverse people. Classroom of Language explores the possibilities of a multidisciplinary approach to language, encouraging each of us to create our own writing systems.”

— Rad Hourani


Read the exhibition booklet HERE.


Rad Hourani is an interdisciplinary artist who uses the mediums of sculpture, painting, architecture, photography, costume, curation, performance, text, sound, and video. His hybrid artistic approach seeks to question established hierarchies by decompartmentalizing disciplines. He examines humanity’s disposition towards normativity and conformity, and how we are influenced by geopolitical, religious, sexual, and economic social systems. Through his practice, Hourani observes the numerous ways in which our prejudices and biases, based on arbitrary categories, contribute to sowing division and violence.

An artist classified as BIPOC, queer, dyslexic, dysphoric and dysphonic, Hourani’s multidisciplinary approach encourages multi-sided conversations, rooted in a non-hierarchical perspective. Challenging the categorical preconceptions of identity as created by society, his anthropological studies involve lengthy research to inspire reflection and revive crucial debates on issues of inclusion and inequality.

His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, notably at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2012), Tate Modern in London (2013), the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2017) and, most recently, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Noguchi Museum in New York (both in 2019).