Being Away, I’m missing a thing by Will Holder tonight at the ICA. Here’s what their website has to say:

Acknowledging Duchamp’s belief in the primacy of concept over form, yet choosing to scrutinise the form of concepts, the project foregrounds language (speech) as an adaptive material. Bachelor Party becomes an interdisciplinary platform from which to “edit, design and ‘publish’ material which ordinarily will not allow itself to be represented on paper”. Holder’s act displaces the notion of publishing from the printed page – and into the more fluid space of conversation and celebration.

Holder’s practice takes many forms, and his work includes printed journals and dialogues with other artists, as well as live readings and social events. In these various formats Holder interrogates the relationship between language and the object, exploring how text in all its forms can manifest in three-dimensions, and how the fixed nature of objects can be destabilised through linguistic interpretation. Holder’s biannual journal FR DAVID, edited with Ann de Meester and Dieter Roelstraete, provides an experimental space in which to discuss these relationships, and in which to explore the use of language in the service of the visual.

The script is a recurrent framework for Holder, providing a structure that presupposes a transition from written text to spoken word through performance. Through such enactment the written text is inevitably opened up to change and adaptation, as well as to the slippages of meaning that occur in the space of translation. In recent performances Holder has appropriated existing texts and used them as scripts for readings, resulting in pieces such as Indeterminacy (2008) and The Making of Americans (2007), based on eponymous works by John Cage and Gertrude Stein. Holder sets up a mise en abyme whereby texts that examine the materiality and mutability of language are self-reflexively performed.

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