The first Edition of COPY was launched at The Plaza Principle, Leeds, Thursday 21 October 2010. Edited by Charlotte Morgan and Joanna Loveday of CRITICAL WRITING COLLECTIVE this first edition contains DOG MAN SEEING DOUBLE, another episode of DOG MAN: SPIT & PRAXIS, my investigative serial fiction project.
The editors describe the publication as follows:
COPY is a new low-tech publication of critical and experimental art writing based in Yorkshire, from Critical Writing Collective. Each issue offers a proposition loosely interpreted by its contributors.
COPY // understudy contains submissions of writing as or around critical practice and page/image based works with a critical / textual element. COPY // understudy examines the notions of standing in, examined, inquired or performed; the temporary, theoretical or illusory and will be presented at The Plaza Principle, an exhibition curated by Derek Horton and Chris Bloor at the vacant TK Maxx unit in Leeds Shopping Plaza.
COPY will be distributed at regional and national locations and online.
The DOG MAN fiction project began as part of my writing residency for Beyond the Dustheaps at The Charles Dickens Museum. DOG MAN’S WEEK OF THE 10,000 STORIES was an installation at the Gooden Gallery 24/8 Vitrine. A further collection of texts – DOG MAN’S MORNING RITUAL – will appear in the forthcoming BASIC NEEDS issue of 20/20 magazine.
Here is an extract of the episode for COPY// Understudy.
Kingsway, thought Dog Man coming out of Holborn tube station, is where London feels most like Paris. It’s the buildings, trees and the width of road and pavement. The correlation of these elements causes Kingsway to substitute for somewhere else. Somewhere French.
Or Hyde Park as time machine. Each time he walked in Kensington Gardens Dog Man saw, amongst the trees, Henry VIII hunting wild boar. Or Victorians drifting around the round pond. During World War I the gardens had hosted a camouflage school, so perhaps other historical periods, thought Dog Man, are still here, disguised as trees…
At Gants Hill, the central line stations felt like Brooklyn. A single Jewish cloth merchant on Brick Lane; a synagogue folded into the mosque on Fieldgate street. An oasis, also on Whitechapel’s Fieldgate street, across the road from the bell foundry, worn out looking palm trees sabotaging a desert comparison.
Dog Man never experienced such resonances in the close by financial district, either its busy day or empty night and weekend streets. Its substitutions, copies, exchanges were all on the flickering screens, behind receptionists, on upper floors, to which he had no access.
Little Philippines. Little China. Little Korea. Little France. Little Italy.
Dog Man made himself an orbiting reading list for Whitechapel High Street: Knut Hamsun’s HUNGER; Pierre Guoyotat’s SOMA; Junichiro Tanizaki’s Diary of a Mad Old Man; Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners. In the later West Indian immigrants chase pigeons for food in London’s parks.
Dog Man stood outside the Spitalfields house of Gilbert and George. He had seen on ubuweb a film about their archive. The semen, the chewing gum, the dog turds. It had seemed comprehensive, but Dog Man could see new gum and dog shit everywhere, whilst G and G stayed inside, behind the shuttered windows of their tall town house.
Gilbert and George must be old now. Who will photograph all the chewing gum when they are dead? Dog Man bought two suits, and wore them both whenever he walked in the vicinity of their house. Gilbert and George could not be copied.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It was in Mags & Fags that Dog Man told me the story of King Gant: his hill and his triumphal journey into London in 1225. King Gant said: In memory of me let there be a roundabout just here to smooth entry into London, particularly during rush hour. Let there be passageways under the earth for access to the tube station that can also work as pedestrian thoroughfares avoiding the busy traffic.
King Gant stopped off, too, at a pre-Medieval version of the Faces nightclub, which was not that dissimilar from the celebrity and premiership footballer hangout of the present day. King Gant never thought to leave throughout the subsequent eight centuries, a permanent fixture at the bar until Dog Man came, luring him to his A12 storage facility with promises of champion greyhounds.
Find out more here. COPY//Understudy also includes work by Huw Andrews, Fabienne Audeoud, Rachel Lois Clapham, Emma Cocker, Sam Curtis, Charlotte A Morgan, Flora Robertson, and Rebecca Weeks.