Today and tomorrow are the last chance to see DISPERSALS, an action at the Totalkunst Gallery in Edinburgh that is part of the FESTIVAL OF NEARLY INVISIBLE PUBLISHING. Actually, you might already be too late, if Mirja Koponen’s sticker-poem distribution has gone to plan, and small language pieces have already been taken and dispersed. Or you will encounter the work as it will feature when it arrives at The Pigeon Wing: a sheet testifying to what has been removed and what remains.
This micro-exhibition develops out of THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN project that was a collaboration between myself and Mirja in the summer, in which numerous artists responded to my script for an exhibition, itself unfolding from two paragraphs by the Russian writer Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. As Mirja has written of this new project, which unfolds the dialogue in the context of the FESTIVAL OF NEARLY INVISIBLE PUBLISHING:
The first dispersal is in the gallery right now. It’s a short event, a burst really, and I think I’m going to send the sheets to you after they have been picked over by the TK audience. I think there is a geographical suggestion here as much as there is an actual dispersal, a belief that the labels with words still will exist there somewhere… an oddly incomplete feeling.
And earlier, conceiving of the project, Mirja wrote:
… is simply an attempt to literally disperse the text of ‘The Shadow’. I’d like to print the text of the shadow on sheets of labels ( but as pages of the text as they visually appear in the score) and these are set out for the audience to peel off and attach to their diaries, notebooks, bags. There is something inherently magical about selecting your favourite words ( or blanks…!), it makes them special in that moment and thereby fixes them onto your life (literally).
This Dispersal turns the work into a series of personal mementoes, gifts, passwords into the exchange – between the words and the audience – and spreads these out into the space. I like the idea of reversing the process of what we did in june, bringing the words in to the space, and also the idea of materialising the work of the first day of the Shadow in Edinburgh, where the aural experience of the text was the only thing to ‘take with’ from the space. I felt that every line, two lines, combination of lines was potentially meaningful, in theory a simple thought of course, but when I was listening to people reading the text in so many different ways when left to their own devices, I was suddenly quite struck by this.
So, the first Dispersal, a small and quiet piece, makes the Shadow disappear, move on, little by little, perhaps in parts, perhaps entirely.
I would like to do it in the Totalkunst space of course, as the text has materially been there, but it could also travel into The Pigeon Wing through a wormhole in the universe and be dispersed from there. Perhaps there could be somewhat different circumstances for doing this… some sort of augmentary framing of the project. What you think? More could be written/thought about this approach of course, too. Other ways of dispersing?
The materials and traces of this event, when received, will be added to the unfolding array of material at The Pigeon Wing. Submissions are welcome for the festival. Please see the call for works here.