The latest VSK e-book is SOME FAMOUS SIGNING EVENTS by Francis Raven, published on the occasion of US National Handwriting Day. The book begins with an epigraph from Jacques Derrida’s Signature Event Context:
readable even if the moment of its production is irrevocably lost and even if I do not know what its alleged author-scriptor intended to say at the moment he wrote it.
There’s something poetic about grasping a writing instrument and feeling it hit the paper as your thoughts flow through your fingers and pour into words… use a pen or a pencil to rekindle that creative feeling through a handwritten note, poem, letter or journal entry. Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals… Throughout history, handwritten documents have sparked love affairs, started wars, established peace, freed slaves, created movements and declared independence.
As WIMA remind us, January 23rd is also the birthday of John Hancock who “was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large, bold signature.”
For Raven this celebratory e-book is the latest outcome of several projects exploring the play between signature and significant, including – after Pessoa, “a great sad hope for me” he writes – a group show of the self and a signing of the “significant natures” of Beuys, Goya, Picasso, Warhol and Rothko. Note the chronology.
Signatures copied, forged, repeated, photo shopped… In Raven’s projects a signature is both copy, forgery, image, and authentication. Aesthetic and philosophical questions, but artists’ estates, auction rooms and SOPA see it otherwise…
As Annette Messager writes in a short note published in her WORD FOR WORD monograph:
Many other collection albums are made throughout the day, for example, I try to find my best signature, the one that would best define me, I scribble my name hundreds of times with different handwriting on notepaper and then I classify them according to my preference.
SOME FAMOUS SIGNING EVENTS begins:
llie signature nf the general agent fit
on consignment, for
money, to more (discretion, with
out limit assigned, without object specified
in the chamber assigned to him, and with
the bonds of
enrolled bills signed by the presiding
Continue reading here. Please note that the special National Handwriting Day Book Launch has already happened:
More about Francis Raven’s work is here.