Sign Space follows the installation of an art exhibition. From the building of false walls up to the moment the exhibition opens its doors to the public, the film tracks the many considerations, both formal and procedural, that go into staging an art show.
An exhaustive observation of this process reveals how, in providing a highly codified type of setting for our apprehension of art, contemporary exhibition spaces are as much a deliberate construction as any artwork. The film meticulously documents what occurs on site, while an accompanying narration reflects on exhibitions as a historical form, recounting the chain of processes which, over time, produced the set of normative architectural and institutional protocols in use today – practices effecting not only what contemporary art exhibitions look like but also how they function epistemologically, and what relation the forms of knowledge they display have to the public at large. In fact, art spaces have played a significant role in the emergence of what we now call the public sphere, helping to create the audience for what they display.