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Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

VSK PROJECT: TINE MELZER LANGUAGE GAMES PART 2 ON GAMES

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More about Tine Melzer’s work is here. See also projects for Interbellum and Motive Gallery. LANGUAGE GAMES PART 1: ON COLOURS is here.

 

 

 

VSK PROJECT: TINE MELZER LANGUAGE GAMES PART 1 ON COLOURS

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More about Tine Melzer’s work is here. See also projects for Interbellum and Motive Gallery.

LANGUAGE GAMES PART 2: ON GAMES, the conclusion of this VSK Project, will be published on Monday.

 

I AM NOT A POET: JENNIE GUY’S SELECTED CRÔNICAS

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

 

 

 

Jennie Guy’s Selected Crônicas was screened in the Totalkunst Gallery, Edinburgh as part of I AM NOT A POET, on the 18th August 2011. It was projected as part of a joint event with Tamarin Norwood, on the 19th August, when it was also one starting point for a discussion on language and art practice involving Jennie, Tamarin, Magdalen Chua,  and Gerry Smith.

Jennie’s description of the film is as follows:

With as little vocal or physical direction as possible Jennie Guy uses video and sound recordings of a cast of willing readers set in a remote location to reenact the crônicas of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, originally published in the Jornal do Brasil between 1967 and 1973.

 

Jennie Guy, Selected Crônicas, film stills, 2011.

 

For I AM NOT A POET’s Assembling Publication, each artist was invited to contribute one sheet of A4, for a loose leaf publication assembled and distributed in the gallery on 21st August, the final day of the exhibition.

Jennie contributed the following text, footnoted with the observation that “This text is an informal postlude to Selected Crônicas, a video work which re-imagined several of Clarice Lispectors Crônicas, read in Italy July 2011.”

 

A Crônica

Two girls in a Japanese restaurant.

One in charge being more fluent with Sushi and such food. So she is trying to make sure the other is comfortable by explaining how nice this dish is and that dish you might not like, whilst still retaining sympathetic superiority.

When the waiter asks for their drinks order, two Sapporo rolls easily and fluently out of the girl in charge’s mouth.

Sorry, we have no Sapporo, we have Asahi and Kirin and Oron.

The friend, the one that isn’t in charge, casually asks the waiter, which one is better do you think?

Her friend, the one in charge looks a little upset but gathers back her momentum over lunch, nearly.

 

 

More about Jennie Guy’s work is hereA script that VerySmallKitchen provided for Jennie’s READING ENSEMBLE project at Galway Arts Centre, January 2011, is here.

I AM NOT A POET: TAMARIN NORWOOD’S THESE ARE NOT POEMS

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

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Lines 44-45 of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poem Le Bestiaire (1911) read: Belles journées, souris du temps, Vous rongez peu à peu ma vie. (Beautiful days, time’s mice, gnawing little by little my life away.)

 

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http://www.tamarinnorwood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/install-doing-things-with-words-1000.jpg

 

J.L. Austin’s lectures How to do Things with Words (1955) identify certain categories of utterance that affect rather than describe their context.

 

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Doing Words with Things shares its title with my collaborative performance between a sculptor and a signer of British Sign Language, resulting in conversations made of wire. Performances at London Word Festival (Apr 2011) and Tate Britain (Oct 2011).

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http://www.tamarinnorwood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/install-tag-1000.jpg

 

Peter Dreher’s painting series Tag um Tag ist Guter Tag (Day by Day is a Good Day, 1974-ongoing) comprises nearly 4,000 numbered paintings of the same empty glass.

 

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http://www.tamarinnorwood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/install-each-to-each-1000.jpg

Each to Each originated as a sculptural installation of the same name, created for the Citations Lifted Loose exhibition, part of the Concrete and Glass Festival (2008).

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http://www.tamarinnorwood.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/install-window-1000.jpg

Tamarin Norwood’s THESE ARE NOT POEMS is at the Totalkunst Gallery, Edinburgh 17-19 August 2011 as part of I AM NOT A POET.

See her recent VSK project LOCATIONS OF SIX DOMESTIC FIGURES here and TEXT AS TOOLKIT: A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK here.

 

 

 

 

 

I AM NOT A POET: THREE WINDOW PIECES and a HAIKUISATION WORKSHOP by GERRY SMITH

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2011 at 10:53 am

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In the Totalkunst Gallery on August 12th, Gerry Smith led a haikuisation workshop. The notion of haikuisation had been the process behind one set of works in Gerry’s exhibition for I AM NOT A POET, about which he wrote:

12 Haikuisations. These reductive works demonstrate the simple writing strategy of haikuisation. These texts are based upon works by the following authors:Nicolas Evans, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Samantha Harvey. William Heiensen, M.R.James, A. L. Kennedy, Heinrich Von Kliest,Robert Maugham, William McIlvanney, Georges Simenon (twice) and Emma Smith.

For the workshop, Gerry brought along a number of books of short stories, and we added others from the The Forest’s book cabinet. He explained how the basic process was to take the first line of a story, then turn to the end of the story and add the last line.

Sometimes, of course, the process produces something felt to work, other times not. Gerry noticed that, as he explored this method, certain genres seemed to work whilst others did not, and it was interesting to map the structure of particular genres on to the micro-interventions and sampling of the process of marginalisation.

I noted that Smith’s use of structure also allowed a space for a more subjective “I think this works” or “this doesn’t work.” This didn’t lead the original restriction to be abandoned, but might encourage a repetition until something more satisfying is produced.

Gerry had earlier commented “I’m not a poet, I am an intermedia artist.” I wondered how much this judgment of produced texts was a literary one, concerned with grammatical and narrative coherence,  evocative and suggestive description, satisfying structural arc, even over its short duration.

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The speed and simplicity of haikuisation means it is pleasurable and playful to enact. It  leaves space and time for considering what is produced, both the materiality and content of language. As “author” or “editor” texts feel like one’s own personal discovery, whilst also removed from self-expression.

Smith’s own examples in the exhibition seemed informed by a sense of coherence balanced against (and this was also a source cited by Gerry) a Shlovskian sense of “making strange.” For example -

 

Confronted by a whole book of short stories, I applied haikuisation to reading the whole book. The first line of the first story, then the last line of that story. If that didn’t work going to the next first or last, until finding a pairing that “resonates.” Then starting with whatever is the next beginning or ending…

Of course, the question arises where is the “haiku” in haikuisation (A: at the beginning). One other topic of our conversation before the workshop had been a Scottish history of concrete poetry and minimal poetry (from Edwin Morgan, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tom Leonard, through to Alec Finlay, Julie Johnstone’s Island magazine, Nick-e Melville and Smith’s own work, amongst others).

The haiku was a part of this (for example Alec Finlay’s renga platforms) but  perhaps better understood as informing a range of minimal forms, most notably (in different ways in IHF’s work and Smith’s own) one word poems, and the diverse procedures/ intentions of/ from Oulippo and Fluxus.

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Smith’s own haikuisations (see above) suggest further proximities to prose poems. Haikuisation is perhaps best thought of as an alchemical process, in which the haiku’s structure, relation to nature, history, the seasons, the moment, and social custom, exist as a formative element of a “gestural poetry” that opens/mutates into the contemporary.

Although to very different ends, the re-writing of Journey to the Far North that is Andy Fitch and Jon Cotner’s Ten Walks/ Two Talks – a mapping of physical and verbal perambulations around Manhattan 2011 – also finds such contemporary (trans-) form for the haiku (and Basho).

Cotner and Fitch’s use of the dialogue form, their verbosity and humor, ask how such strategies relate to Smith’s haikuisation, whose appropriation does function in part as a kind of metaphysical jest, its resultant meanings a jokers twist on more long winded methods of composition, that is also a nod of reverence to what such forms make possible.

 

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Some notes around Gerry’s I AM NOT A POET show are here.  His VSK project UNIVERSAL HISTORY III is here.

I AM NOT A POET: MAGDALEN CHUA’S PASSAGES OF SILENCE – JUSTIFIED RIGHT, FLUSHED LEFT

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

 

Magdalen Chua writes: At I AM NOT A POET’s Summer School of Silence on 9 August 2011, I facilitated Script doctor comprising a reading from an ongoing work, Scrapbook of a Marxist Conspirator, with a discussion on the complexities and subjectivities involved in writing, editing and presenting of history.

The session was framed in context of an event when 22 young activists accused of conspiring to establish a Marxist state in Singapore were detained in 1987. In 2010, Singapore’s National Library Board barred Vincent Cheng, an ex-detainee, as speaker at a seminar “Singapore History: Who Writes the Script”.

 

Reading during SCRIPT DOCTOR at The Summer School of Silence. Photo: Mirja Koponen

 

Taking the idea that silencing a key actor in a contested historical event presents the occasion for different voices to enter to write, edit and present the script, participants were given four sets of materials offering different accounts surrounding Vincent Cheng and his voice, for a discussion on sources, forms and channels in the production and distribution of history.

Passages of silence – justified right, flushed left is a work that responds to the discussion during Script doctor, as well as the conversations that occurred during the day on silence, how it functions and unfolds.

Drawing on the same four documents distributed in Script doctor, the work explores sources of authority with their imprints, the abstracted spaces between, and the irresolution between fiction and truth.

 

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Magdalen Chua is curatorial worker at Studio 41 in Glasgow. More info here.

I AM NOT A POET 10/08/11: INSTRUCTIONS/ CONSTRUCTIONS by PETER CANT & ALEX EISENBERG

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

“FAILING TO WORK ON SO MANY LEVELS”: GERRY SMITH at I AM NOT A POET

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

 

Alongside his joint show with Shandra Lamaute, Gerry Smith  is at the Totalkunst Gallery today for a conversation on reductive forms and mundane literalism, both terms he has coined for a practice whose website declares “iamatextbasedartist.com.” Following the talk Gerry will lead a Haikuisation workshop. Bring a book of short stories if you come to that one, or grab one from the bookcase in The Forest Cafe just outside.

I first came across Gerry’s work in 2010 through books  such as ESSENTIAL READING and I am a text based artist; Selected Words 1998-2008, and through The Universal History III, which Gerry contributed a selection of as a VSK Project. I enjoyed both the humor and detail of such work, its sense and mix of structure and story. It helped, too, with thinking through the legacy of, say,  Ian Hamilton Finlay and Yoko Ono’s minimal text forms, how contemporary forms of that work could be found through subtle changes of mood, tone and context.

It was Gerry’s insistence that he was NOT  a poet – and his text work was not poems – that partly  led to this exhibition’s title (along with the historical repetitions of such notions by, for example, Lawrence Weiner). Given Gerry’s texts could be fitted into a history of the minimalist poem I was interested in the space that was brought into being by that NOT A.

Also – I’m trying to articulate this more fully as I AM NOT A POET unfolds – what relationships are there between Smith and, for example, another I AM NOT A POET exhibitor nick-e melville’s  recently published STUFF (reviewed by Tom Jenks at 3AM here). Nick-e’s work is more usually framed within contexts of visual and experimental poetry, but both evidence a shared history and contemporary form of/for conceptual, concrete and fluxus writings.

Perhaps it’s a way of talking, with talking seen as intrinsic to writing and art practice (and also central to Colin Herd’s NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL, next up in the space). Gerry describes the works appearing in the gallery this week as follows:

 

Whilst Walking Past A Tall Building is a process piece in five articles and eight letters. I began the process by submitting a question to The Guardian’s Notes & Queries, and the piece consists of the answers that were published. Only structural edits were made, with no alteration to the contents. Hayley Jones, Graham Simpson, and Emily Streete provided the readings.

Breathe consists of three punctuation poems constructed from breves. The texts used are taken from Allan Kaprow’s Performing Life.

12 Haikuisations. These reductive works demonstrate the simple writing strategy of haikuisation. These texts are based upon works by the following authors:Nicolas Evans, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Samantha Harvey. William Heiensen, M.R.James, A. L. Kennedy, Heinrich Von Kliest,Robert Maugham, William McIlvanney, Georges Simenon (twice) and Emma Smith.

 

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The images in this post document a number of recent projects. As Gerry writes:

… There are also photos of An Evening In Front Of The Box (2011) from the recent DOCument show (this piece brings together an instruction piece with a
punctuation poem (i.e. the white dot on the screen). The black and white photos give it a suitably retro feel. The final piece, also from DOCument, is Lost in
Translation: when re-translated – at least through Babelfish! – you end up with: What comes between fear and sex? Funf !

… I really like the last piece as it fails to work on so many levels…

 

 

Finally,  I include below the gallery information notice Gerry has provided for the piece currently on show (until 10PM August 13th) in I AM NOT POET. As Gerry observes, it is part of the work. I include it here, without the work, as an encouragement to come along, but also to give it a life of its own (not in the correct font), evidence of the particular attentions and tones informing his practice:

 

 

A gallery information label is hung alongside Two Poems in Response to François Le Lionnais. This label is part of the work, and contains the following text:

 

Two Poems in Response to François Le Lionnais

 

François Le Lionnais was a Dadaist poet and founder member of OULIPO (abbr. Fr. The Workshop for Potential Literature). In his article “Exercices de littérature potentielle” (1961), he proposed the creation of a reductive poetry, where each poem would consist of a single letter (he admitted that such a poetry “may lie on the far side of the acceptable limit”). Le Lionnais created the first of these poems, T, and left it for the rest of his colleagues in the OULIPO to complete the set of 26 Roman letters.

The Yogh (З) is a Middle Scots / Middle English letter; it is the “forgotten” 27th letter of the Scots alphabet. The yogh resembles a tailed “z” or the Arabic numeral “3”, and it’s one of those letters that tends to have a weird effect on those around it (which is why “Menzies” is pronounced ming-is or ming-iz, depending on your accent). Its most illustrious time was really in the glory days of handwriting, and its use went into sharp decline with the onset of print (there were typesets available which included the yogh, but printers tended to substitute for it the Manx cat of the letter “z”). Whilst the use of it had seriously declined by the 17th century, its cause wasn’t really helped by the Scottish intelligentsia’s headlong rush to adopt what they saw as the more “cultured” form of the new Standard English. Economic factors had nothing to do with this whatsoever.

The Scharfes s ( ß ) is a ligature of the “long s” and “s” or “z”. In the German alphabet the “sharp s” became a letter in its own right. It is also known as the “Eszett”. The letter has no upper case and, as a result, has never got above its station – and all the better for it! In the last few decades, reforms of the German language have sought to restrict the use of the Scharfes s. Furthermore, there have recently been calls from bureaucrats within the E.U. for the letter to be abandoned, as this would make easier the standardisation of computer keyboards in governmental departments across Europe. Economic factors have nothing to do with this whatsoever.

 

The Perspex label holder is the sort used by the National Galleries of Scotland. Likewise, the font used for the text.

 

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More about Gerry Smith’s work is here.

I AM NOT A POET: MEMORY EXCHANGE by MARY PATERSON

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 10:22 am

Mary Paterson’s MEMORY EXCHANGE was part of I AM NOT A POET on 10th Aug 2011. Numerous conversations and encounters occupied the eight hours in which Mary was in residence (when Mary left the gallery the MEMORY EXCHANGE archive remained with instructions and several further contributions were added during the evening).

Here the project becomes a sequence of six photographs that each seem to hold back from the participatory and performance aspects of the event.  If the project is an event that needs to be noticed and engaged with as a social, public activity, it is also, for both artist and participant, based on private moments of reading, writing, and remembering.

That these become public and the significance of that is what MEMORY EXCHANGE articulates through its own structure, its mix of visible and invisible, chance and program, individual and group. The result is a tentative proposition about memory itself, that collapses back into the artist herself, her own memories and what she asks of them. This is one version of MEMORY EXCHANGE that I find in six photographs.

For more about Mary’s work see here. Her VSK Chapbook WORK IN PROGRESS is here.

VSK PROJECT: The Middle Notebookes [extract] by Nathanaël

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2011 at 1:09 am

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If by liberation you intend the emancipation from reason, sure. If it’s the thing that wracks groans and torment from the body, if at the moment of sleeping and waking it is the thing that  transforms me into a howling cemetery, a blood-soaked battlefield. I have become the war and the malady, the face of the death of a person. I have envisioned these technologies. (…) You see, if it isn’t a liberation, it is nonetheless a thing detached against the thing that lays it bare. I am the residue of a self, the absence of relation: thing and thing.

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Your name is discarded at the side of the road. After the months of deliberations. Thrown among the gravel and algae of the pavement. This abandoned name is barely a death. It will happen to you one day in the mouth of another. That side-road name that holds the shape of your already-body. Your body in disbelief at not having that name.

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With him, my I-him, in body, I have no further language. He grants me this reprieve.

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My mind stops at the Bar Kokhba revolt and the collective suicide of the Guadeloupean marrons in 1802, alongside the Mulâtresse Solitude. More than ever, I understand that gesture. At the end of a battle, where nothing is ever won, the evidence of the only possible act is to set fire to oneself. The enemy is nowhere visible, and the city, as it so often is in my thinking, is empty, abandoned. What remains of it, I have ingested, in structure, in discourse, in enmity. The thing against which we fight becomes us. To obliterate it, it must surely be necessary to obliterate it in – and with – oneself. I cannot know what meaning to grant this in a present of abandon, of resentment, confusion and sorrow, of perverse euphoria. There are the cats who ask to be fed, and a love that surely doesn’t intend for me, but toward which I go.

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The absence of a witness is the beginning of a murder. It became clear to me at the crematorium when the howl, immediately swallowed by the roar of the furnaces, was wrenched from me.

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Eyes open or closed, it’s the same screen, the same blood, the same smell.

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Desire’s accusations are irrefutable. I come to you with judgement and morbidity. Against a theatre of moveable parts, Genet insists “the architecture of the theatre … must be fixed, immobilized, so that it can be recognized as responsible : it will be judged on its form”. This, then, is my injunction, that I bring with me, my “irreversible” theatre. Judge me.

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The conditional is bereaved: tense, unappeased. It carries potentiality’s breach, boring into the undetermined with disbelief. The if then of me, constructed such that uncertainty, embedded in the causal palate of language’s misdeed, is militantly rejected by a structuring of sated need. It locks into place, but this does nothing for a body that falls from a sky. The contaminant is alive, it is vital, distressed; it disregards our posturings. “Nothing is true”, contends Édouard Glissant, “everything is alive”. It is this untrue-alive, which is the end of I (je) – its everlast. The insistence of Cahun’s intransigeant interrogation, speaking, alive: what want and to what end this accusation of endings? Each thing in ending, at the very start. It is sometimes called: onset. And we are its disease.

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The bed expulses me. My head seized by a liquid burn.

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We are in time. That, too, is unthinkable.

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You arrive shortly after. Days, weeks. You say: N. You rid my names of their gravity, their fatality. N., this residue of me, this scrap. You open your mouth with mine, you gorge my cries, you pull my body under the weight of you, I bite into the soil of your shoulder, you cry the continent and the passing hour. You say nothing, you sleep and give me your rest, the livid days of tomorrows. You read to me out loud. You are my passeur, laid over my disappearance.

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Who will wash the body of my death. Who will kiss my bloody mouth. Who will swallow my cries, my pain. Who will consume my passing. Who will speak me.

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I am bereft, and unjust. Now I can speak to you of this, now that I’ve written you I don’t know what it will be with the telephone next time or the time after that, but it is ok now that I have told you and please be secretive with this, guard it like a wingless bird with no eyes, who never saw a thing and is afraid of loud noises. Make it precious that way and irrepressibly endangered, such that you have no desire to whisper it, not even to yourself.

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Fistfully. Mouthfully. The place you take into you is an injury and my prints are all over you. This is your city. Your tawdry. As though speaking of seeing could correct calamity. Our limbs are not limber. And geography cringes at the encroachement of further geography. Find the text that granted permission, the book that wanted burning, the mouth that needed closing, the hand held before an expressionless face. Brazen and stumbling. (2006)

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Death is long, terribly long, notwithstanding the unbearable remainder.

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…and into your sleep, I swear it, into your death, I will follow you. (Bernard-Marie Koltès)

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If it is true that “desire is dead, killed by an image”, it may be that this accusatively emphatic image bespeaks the murderous vigil; to watch, unbidden. To bring the body, unworn, to testify against itself, to responsibilise its enmity, build up the wall of its own figuration, severely, make what is seen visible against history’s rent screen – a black box of miserly misery. Speak into speaking, unlistened. // I go to where it happens. The door is a door that closes. A gate that scrapes shut against a forensic, vaulted compound. These are its barbed technologies, its unmitigated heat, a fire that doesn’t burn, a blood that doesn’t bleed: the smell of it. If desire is dead it is dead at the point of seeing, accused, beseeching. It dies undead, it sees unspoken, it works its asphyxiation into the endangered throat, stripped of its vital civility, mouth open on no sound, untold. The wither image may have killed desire, ineradicably. Death’s death as it were, remaindered at its skinned edge, its posthumous (re)iteration, end upon devastated end.

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Through the window, the city demonstrates its refusal.

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A. tells me that I am at the bottom of the pit. But it isn’t at all that. A pit wouldn’t be so bad. A bottom, an utterly agreeable thing. Even unbearably agreeable. But a bottom would be something. I wasn’t able to tell her no, there is neither a bottom, nor a pit, nor a darkness, nor anything of the nihilistic dreams of the living. It’s rather of the order of a blank. I think so. Vigilation is something like that. The attention granted to a thing to the point of the obliteration of looking and of the thing. That is where the voice is lost, touch evaporates, it burns for not being able to burn.

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Saarbrücken: am in another language, as in a body of water that submerges me without touching me.

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One must agree to be finished: to be here and nowhere else, to do this and no other thing, now and not never nor ever … to have this life alone. (André Gorz)

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An overly-aggrieved body, a face that carries several deaths already, including mine, and the murder of the mother, the brother. Who will ever want this mouth?

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Crossing the square, I feel an utter disgust toward all these humans, I tell myself that it’s everywhere the same people, that it’s no surprise we perpetuate the same violences, just look at us. It isn’t that we don’t love enough, I think perhaps it is that we don’t hate one another enough. The human being is a botched animal.

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You dance because you are conscious of death. (Pippo Delbono)

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I continue to scatter myself to the wind, I’m in shreds in these places that seem to come to pieces as I move through them, as though my presence alone conferred their disintegration.

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Wien: An unthinkable world.

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November (end). Today I would like to speak to you. I know that you would have something to say to me, to me and to all of this, and that you would take me somewhere on foot, that you would have a thing or two to show me. I can’t imagine going back, but remaining is just as improbable. As for me, I would like one day to kiss your mouth and wonder whether mine is even capable of such a thing. Love from a loveless city. N.

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My words tonight before a Viennese public in an old hospital reconstituted as a Universität made my mouth into a crypt and purged the last vital energies from the room. Ending unspeaking unbreathing and the room unsound. It is a disconcerting shame that accompanies a death, for the person remaining, the vitally-residual, with her culpable vitality, a fistful of aschenglorie, a scattered self. And a face which must only signify this from now on.

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Kafka: My love for you doesn’t love itself. (Gorz)

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The body is seized, inert, beating, palpitating, an anguish in time. Is it me.

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Deutschland: I go toward everything as though I were late, our late desires, yes. It isn’t a place I would have chosen for myself. But we don’t choose our self.

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The narrative of the end of a certain time is told in a new time which retains that end – an end by which it presents itself as beginning. (Lyotard)

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Between two places, in a despotic airport (Frankfurt), I write my hope for an inevitable outre mesure. Might it be, in the end, a matter of “that unforgottenness of forgetting that isn’t memory”? (Malraux).

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Unmoorings.

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From part to parting, to be summoned is to be attentive to the surf that founds and founders being, I mean the eventuality of one’s existere, of one’s situation.

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Vienna is not a city.

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RY King’s photographic dissolve marks the paper immutable. Immutable in that it is always imbricated in a mechanism of deterioration. In this improper sense, the image is not separable from its degradation. Its substances are both paper and light. Thus they are neither, as they run into each other. The bird, in this instance, which is scarcely discernible, is in a field of apparent surfaces. It comprises the surface by which it becomes visible, an irregularity on a structure of hay bales in a field of depleted colour. The photograph misdirects its intention. It intends for me to fall in. In to America.

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It comes with a number, assigned to a calcined human body which is incommunicable:                . When it says “…I need catastrophes, coups de théâtre”, it abandons sense. The lake is up to my knees in November.

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The time of the photograph is (always) after. This imprecision accommodates the numerous successions, the end upon seismic end. In a time without time, un(re)countable: still. In this, it is a perfect crime, “the annihilation annihilated, the end … deprived of itself.”

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Are you the sum of your cities? What are your cities? Es-tu la somme de tes villes? Quelles sont tes villes? “Wounded mouths that gape onto the void”? (Lyotard)

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I crossed over, I touched, I howled, I gave, I envisioned, I was afraid and I went toward everything that seemed to go against me. I said yes in spite of myself, while saying never again – not Germany, not Austria, not America, not anywhere ever, especially not me – and it’s this conjunction surely that makes that I exist in the rapacious non-existence of the delirious (mis)deed.

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Pain and pain again. But it isn’t mine, in that it doesn’t belong.

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This trip to Germany and Austria was by turns very exacting, and always very emotional; I learned a lot, about myself, about history, about the very violence of my hopes. Vienna especially plied me, with its architecture of pomp and excess, in that city I hardly slept. Presents and pasts combined and I was suffocating… I was suffocating and this didn’t prevent me from feeling just as intensely the warmth with which I was everywhere welcomed. I emerge from it shaken, my head shattered, my body plunged into that (for me) beginning conversation and I am moved by the openings – gentle and violent – that sought me out. There is no turning away from it. I go to that which exceeds comprehension, the furore of history, the aleatory encounters, the receptiveness of a present within voice’s reach.

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Time goes on, how curious, one doesn’t imagine that it could at such an hour.

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“for we say here: the time before the fire and time after it.” (in Senocak)

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To bring a life into the world is to bring that world to its death.

*

…a stable, several rooms, bicycle rides in the countryside, a terrible parking lot, people coming and going, a threat, unnamed, an eventual art show, and the rapid deterioration of my body in the face of everyone. Lying down or standing, the liquefaction of my joints, my bones floating in my remains, gaping holes at my knees, waxen skin, saying to R. who is watching television with several others, kill me, have mercy, why won’t you kill me. A boy beneath a blanket, but nothing was fixed, it must have been the residual death imprinted in the body, my installation in that savagery, its imprint of undesirability, tear me from this sleep.

*

As for this end, attached to a death, I am the one now who is changed by it, and who rejects certain narratives which make me into something I don’t want to be.

*

I make the connection between these texts and the sprig of creosote in the mail, your wanderments and a detailed attention granted to the unsuspected details of a fragile narrative of seasons and their material. The documentation of this – burst and furling. A magistral museum, the one that isn’t edified. I admire your eye and that which is emptied from it, the residue of a gaze is a form of (formless) archive.

*

We could think of the sense of touch as the unconscious of vision. (Pallasmaa)

*

It’s 3:30pm, time for me to sleep. I’ve already had one nap, twice gone round the neighbourhood, made and unmade the bed, adored the cats, prepared inedible foods, drunk the remaining tea, written several letters, taken some notes and checked the mail that doesn’t come. It’s impossible to make these tasks into a day, the day being obstinately out of reach, the door being unrecognisable, one walks into it, face first, still there is some relief in the sensation.

*

The next text is a kind of suppuration. It must be the equivalent of rubbing gravel and glass into a wound, but I must do this violence to myself now. Press my whole face into the ambient abjection, hatred, rage. Perhaps remove a blistered skin, rendering myself raw and possibly more humane.

*

[ … ]

 

 

 

More about Nathanaël’s work is here.  Nathanaël  writes: “The extract I’m sending you is from The Middle Notebookes, —  the consolidation in English of three Carnets written in French from 2007-2010, and published by Le Quartanier in 2009 (Carnet de désaccords) and 2011 (Carnet de délibérations) with the last one (Carnet de Somme) due in spring 2012. This information is superfluous to this publication, but it gives you a Very Small Sense of the context for the work.”

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