One might think that the artworks are the most important objects in the gallery, but the exhibition text has been quietly stealing the show. From the main wall text to individual labels, exhibition text dictates where our eyes and minds go—a back-and- forth from text to object as we try to comprehend its purpose. For the insatiable reader, more text follows in brochures, press releases, curatorial essays and the like. But text was never this ubiquitous, it was only in the late 1970s when exhibition text became a fundamental requirement for most museum shows. When was the last time you looked at an artwork for yourself? Nevermind the curatorial direction or the eager gallery assistant, take the time to encounter what’s before you. Notice the presence of colours, edges, and patterns as tension builds. Once you’re done, look for what’s absent. How does the artwork make you feel? While it may feel weird averting your eyes from the labels, comfort yourself in this knowledge—had exhibition text been this important, artists would have given up on using any other media at all. An exhibition without reading the text? I shudder to think we might misunderstand, or worse, craft our own interpretations. Featured here: Immortality Project I, by Sam Jinks at Sullivan & Strump, (2016).