24 x 3 PRIMARY COLOURS
The 3 primary colours in 24 languages
In all 3 works, the names of the primary colours are represented in the 24 most spoken languages in Europe at the time. The word order is fixed to red-yellow-blue. The names in languages using non-Roman scripts are transcribed into French.
A colour is assigned to each letter of the alphabet; the names of the primary colours can therefore be written in coloured squares instead of letters. The assigned colours apply to all 3 works.
The first work represents the 3 primary colours spelled out individually in each of the 24 languages. The resulting 24 embroideries are arranged according to each language's number of speakers, in descending order.
The second work shows all 24 x 3 primary colours one after the other, again arranged according to each language's number of speakers, in descending order. The words are separated from each other by a colourless square.
In the third work, the letters of all 24 x 3 primary colours are sorted and arranged alphabetically from top to bottom, thus creating a pattern of stripes of different lengths with the longest stripe defining the width of the work.
This body of work was produced in pre-Internet days. The gathering of information was slow and labourious: it involved library research, phone calls to foreign embassies and visits to the various language institutes of the University of Geneva.
All embroideries were realised by local artisans in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
(embroidered cotton, 24 works of 15 x 15 cm, 2 works of 52 x 34/70 cm, 1999)