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Lots to think about following the Art/Writing Talks at Spike Island on Saturday.
I plan to write out a response in the coming weeks, but for the time being below is a slideshow recording of my own presentation, which considers the possibility of reciprocation between art and writing and between practice and everyday life.
This was the second of three Art/Writing Talks curated and chaired by Fiona Fullam, and also presenting were Daniel Jewesbury and Jesse Jones.
The first of the talks was at The Dock, Carrick-On-Shannon on 13 November, with speakers David Berridge, Declan Long and Tine Melzer: David Berridge writes more about the event here. The final event will be at The Goethe Institute, Dublin on 11 December, with speakers Maria Fusco and Maeve Connolly.
Art/Writing talks and panel discussion with Fiona Fullam (chair) with Daniel Jewesbury, Tamarin Norwood and Jesse Jones.
Saturday 27 November, 2pm
Associates Space, Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6UX
From the Spike Island website:
Following on from the popular 2009 Spike Associates Art & Writing programmed by Sovay Berriman (Associate Artist) and Megan Wakefield (Researcher: PhD Spike Island/UWE) which featured Maria Fusco, Matt Price, David Trigg, Brian Catling, Becky Shaw and amongst others, Spike Island is pleased to host one of a series of three Art/Writing: Text and Context events curated by Dublin based artist and writer Fiona Fullam and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.
This is the second in a series of three exploratory talks, panel discussions of invited speakers, curated by Fiona Fullam and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. Art/Writing: Text and Context will consist of a short presentation by each speaker, discussion and a question and answers session and aims to bring together writers, art practitioners and theorists for a public exchange of ideas. Invited speakers for Spike Island on Saturday 27 November are Daniel Jewesbury, Tamarin Norwood and Jesse Jones. Read the rest of this entry »
This month in association with 3am magazine and Maintenant the Icelandic Embassy in London is hosting an evening of readings by four Icelandic poets – Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir, Ragnhildur Jóhanns, Jón Örn Loðmfjörð and Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl – with responses presented on the evening by eight British poets. As one of the British contributors I’ve been looking at the work of Ragnhildur Jóhanns, whose interview was posted yesterday at maintenant.co.uk > poetry. Here’s an image of one of her poems:
The disruption and reassembly of her cut-up books brings to mind the line drawings I first wrote about here and here and later compiled for AS LINE. These line drawings – lines drawn between things and pages – are attempts to write things down, or keep them, in a way that words cannot. Read the rest of this entry »
On the train yesterday I was reading the London Review of Books (having unrelatedly had a pot of tea with four words in its name at the LRB Cake Shop the very same day) (and cake).
One of the articles is Do Not Scribble, Amanda Vickery’s review of two new books on letter writing: The Pen and the People: English Letter-Writers 1660-1800 (Susan Whyman) and Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters (Dena Goodman). Vickery writes:
“No lady’s desk was complete without a secret drawer in which to hide valuables and letters. A place of privacy is central to Goodman’s conception of the autonomy of the letter-writer. The secrétaire guarded a lady’s secrets and advertised her claim to thoughts of her own.” (LRB Nov 2010: Vol. 32 No. 21, p.36)
Advertising one’s secrecy is contradictory. (We can talk about gender or colonialism here if we like, or about artist statements.) Keeping things in a known secret place makes the secrecy a public practice, and only the detail of the secret remains private. If the compartment weren’t generally known about, it follows, then the secrets would only be half valid, the private mind being significant only in relation to the public perception of that mind. (The artist’s anguish.) There is still plenty of space for secrecy within the detail of a secret, but its nature changes somewhat when its form is prepared for in the carpentry of a desk.
Instead one might choose to keep a secret compartment with, secretly, no secrets in it at all, or to hide secret things in another truly secret compartment while leaving nothing of particular interest under lock and key in the known hiding place – or to just leave secrets lying around indifferently, disguised as everyday things.
The person at 298b has only a very small window offering almost no view at all: just the top of a brick wall and a few inches of sky. This is inadequate. At times he feels like staring into the plotless scrolling of people and things you get through proper windows, but there’s nothing to see. The view’s blank.
So at times like these he’s started building the view himself. Read the rest of this entry »
Just out is the 2010 Live Art Development Agency Performance Writing study guide, available to read in print at the LADA study room, or online/download here. The publication includes my article The Writing of Performance.
(W)reading Performance Writing : A Guide by Rachel Lois Clapham
In (W)reading Performance Writing writer and Co-Director of Open Dialogues Rachel Lois Clapham has assembled twenty practitioners from diverse fields of poetry, theatre, visual art and performance on the topic of Performance Writing. This unique guide comprises of syllabuses, manifestos, scores, personal testimonies and practical exercises, many drawn from resources available in the Live Art Development Agency study room. It also includes a detailed subject area index. This publication is highly speculative and encourages an active read. A note on its reading can be found in the section Invitation to (W)read.
Authors included are Charles Bernstein, Caroline Bergvall, David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Emma Cocker, Mark Caffrey, Alex Eisenberg, John Hall, Claire Hind, Richard Kostelanetz, Johanna Linsley, Claire MacDonald, Rebecca May Marston, Marit Münzberg, Tamarin Norwood, Mary Paterson, Joshua Sofaer, Danae Theodoridou, Peter Walsh and Simon Zimmerman. Design by Marit Munzberg.
A one-off hard copy edition of the guide is available to be assembled/disassembled in the agency study room.
Below is a response to Anton’s comment on my earlier post On Thyme.
Yes, I would rather no human shaping at all.
And yes, where language tries to describe things as themselves, it fails. The description interrupts its object, causes it to recede from description, and in its place describes something altogether different. The thing described is not the same as the coexistent thing that evaded description. The particular quality of a thing – a thing as it is, on its own, “resting in its thing-being” – is precisely that it is undescribed*. Described, the thing is no longer the thing it was, and the thing it was recedes, evading description. Read the rest of this entry »
I propose we each carry a purse containing threads with small clips fastened at each end. One end of each thread would be attached to the inside of the purse, and the other would be clipped in passing to objects and people we expect might be relevant later on. Over time we would each amass tens of thousands of these clipped threads, both issuing from our purses and clipped to our person and personal effects by others.
Provided the threads are sufficiently long and robust and numerous, instead of speaking we could physically tug at the things we wish to denote and finally abandon language once and for all.
Admittedly communication would proceed painstakingly. Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine the trompe l’oeil covering the front door of Number 298 Park Road, North London. Typical of its genre, the painting exploits existing panelling on the door to lend shadow and weight to the form it depicts. The correlation of forms between the door and the painting is so exact that the painter succeeds with a single pot of gloss paint and a broad brush in creating the effect that the red door is white in colour. A neighbour likes the colour and paints his front door white, and the two look identical. Read the rest of this entry »
The other evening I watched a poet read from a book he’d written. The poem described a series of long walks around London and for poetic effect made connections between moments that had passed on these walks. There was poetry in the language and words got stuck to themselves and stopped.
On the train on the way home I looked out of the window at barbed wire and the late sunshine on a roof. It made me imagine a sentence about barbed wire and the late sunshine on a roof, and I regretted doubling the view onto itself. I wished the poet could have transmitted the walks without the poem, or the poem without the poetry or better still, had not transmitted the walks at all, not even to himself. I’d like him to have just walked, and even that by accident.
Likewise, to my right there is a pot of thyme. Read the rest of this entry »