I have printed out my Composition with Forks text, each phrase on a separate piece of paper, not like haiku or anything but just to slow them down and to give them a pace.

It’s important to point out that this writing not trying to describe the fork compositions in any way. I’m not holding back the names of the objects as a kind of guessing game with a prize if you work out what I’m describing. I’m not describing, I’m trying to create an effect in writing that’s equivalent to the effect of the objects.

Before the gallery meeting I sat in the pub on my own (I got there early) and wrote about the Forks text in my diary. I’ll copy the competent bits here.

I must do better at distinguishing between my ordinary activities and the ones I call art. I would like it if they were a sliding scale, only with some activities more pure.

But the writing I had done after my forks compositions, the forks and buttons on boards, I printed out phrase by phrase onto eight pieces of paper with space after them. They almost make one weep with their quiet reflectiveness.

I have done my best to make the words very abstract in them so that they almost don’t mean anything beyond the motion of the phrases, which take, and return, and come to, and return again.

I am very happy with them, and that is no reason to stop, I would like to try to write the floor of this pub now, and its stools.

Which are here. And resolutely go under.

No this is wrong.

It sounds almost like a haiku or something. They, the paving slabs which are chequered dark brown and grubby white, are unusually large, perhaps 600mm across, are more deliberate than my forks, but that doesn’t mean they need to be named – or described without being named – as I have above. They don’t need to have agency either.

But I would like to try more definite words, which have more meaning to them. I remember Henri Chopin’s sound poem Rouge, for which he chose a word that I couldn’t describe between calling semantically full or semantically empty. It’s immediately evocative of a very clear thing, redness, so that the poem to me must be that colour, but at the same time its lack of precision makes it a good candidate for losing its semantic substance … compared to a very precise word like ‘technology’, or ‘anthropomorphism’ or ‘God’ or ‘art’. So in that respect it was easier than it could have been to make it approach pure phonic substance.

So I’d like to work with words that resist more – that have more semantic presence. I think it would be harder to do, they’d rub against me, but I’d like to see if that’s a limit or if it can work.

So I want objects, actions or things that don’t let the substance of grammar take over. Or perhaps it isn’t time for that yet, perhaps I need to work with thinly clothed grammar for now. Perhaps that’s what I’m doing. Skirting around the stuff of language as I am skirting around the stuff of objects with my forks compositions.

That sounds to me about right.

Advertisements