The zone of the near and far.
Firstly I’m relieved to say that the first two postcards have arrived from Olivia Notaru, and wonderful they are too. Olivia had sent postcards that appear, disappear, mutate and become, in transit, but none of them had actually arrived. I was reluctant to print out the photos she sent me of them (see day 8) as I felt they weren’t able to ‘speak’ to this sense of time and distance.
Now some have arrived, they have a very special place in the space at the Lock-Up and in the project generally.
Hopefully more will appear over the next few days.
Hester Reeve and I had some conversations before I came over to Australia, but time got the better of us both. I have therefore taken the liberty of dedicating a space of 3 minutes every hour or so to be Hester’s contribution. Lets call it a collaboration.
Lily Mellor’s work is also ‘in transit’. Or should I say Lily is in transit, as she currently travels across China. She’s been sending me messages and images when she can.
I’ve dedicated a phase/zone of the project to the near and the far, and included Lily, Olivia and Hester in that zone. What I can promise (and this may exist as a subset of the zone of telepathy) is that all three artists have been present in some way in the space.
I’d like also to introduce Leanne Schubert to the zone of inversion. Leanne’s contributions have been generous and thoughtful.
I have reached a point (a mid point perhaps) where I think the space can rest for a day, allowing me to try to write the rest of my presentation for tomorrow.
I’ll get some decent photos up soon.
The score so far looks like this.
A work for the Lock-Up, Newcastle, Australia.
The zone of inversion. (Schubert).
The zone of un-exegesis. (Dutton).
The zone of the cosmic and the animal. (Southworth).
The zone of the cosmic and the animal. (Hassall)
The zone of inversion. (Schubert).
The zone of telepathy. (Dutton).
The zone of inversion.
The zone of un-exegesis. (Dutton).
The zone of telepathy. (Bracey).
The zone of significance. (Granell).
The zone of the near and far. (Notaru and Mellor).
The zone of convalescence and love. (Dutton)
(coded message in music to loved ones. A subset of the zone of telepathy.)
The Zone of the Near and Far (Reed).
The Zone of the Near and Far.
The Full text of the Zone of Un-Exegisis is as follows.
This is read by ‘Serena’ on a slightly slower than normal speed.
The zone of un-exegesis.
Here we are, together, at the centre of a work, and at the centre of an institution of work. Our real work is at the centre of our unreal work, within the centre of the work of this institution.
Yes, of course, lets not be disingenuous about it. Our work is at the centre of our work within the institution but due to the nature of that work perhaps our work within the institution has to become less central.
As meanings and values become split and fragmented between a sense of centre and sense of institutional core, (or strewn across, perhaps? ), then all centres, clusters, nexuses, clumps, sods, pools, puddles, and gatherings, tend to bed in and hunker down for the long winter ahead.
And indeed, (and we sing this in another register)
“is there any sign of spring?”.
Our work, of which we are at the centre, (and the work is at our centre) consists currently of some of the artefacts ( which include texts ) placed here, within the template of wherever it is that is currently being placed. But the work also consists of the actual placing of the artefacts as in the act of placing. A word here, a comma there. A guttural outburst there. Urghh.
We too of course are artefacts.
The bindings and grindings and relationships between the act of placing the artefacts, the act of constructing the artefacts (by which we mean from thought to matter), and the artefacts themselves are heavily intertwined, and, of course inseparable. At the centre of our institution of work there are similar inseparable bindings, but, due to the nature of our institutions these, convoluted, often ornate, baroque and even elegant systems are often seen as problematic because of their complexity, and thus, their awkwardness in the face of a teleological turn (towards that lost event horizon) within the epistemic realms.
The Lock Up, like any other organised cultural or indeed educational space has its institutional frameworks and rhetorics which one must always work within. If one doesn’t one is no longer contributing to the Lock Up, but to something other than Lock Up, which the Lock Up may or may not become. Either way, it is not as it is in the here and now. All we can do is inhabit them happily.
The work, in a sense becomes, as one would wish the inhabitants of the institution would become and the institution to become. The texts and words become, again and again. The texts are scores which are played back by the player and performed again and again. The texts tell us nothing (explicitly ) in so much that any text that is telling us nothing is revealing something about nothing. The texts evolve as they unfold. Or unfold as they evolve.
The texts are images and the images texts.
The reversals, the inversions, the mistakes, the mash up of rhetoric.
The texts are pre-written then riffed upon on the wall of the institution. But where does the pre-writing begin and end? Why the wall? Because of the lack of the lighted screen perhaps? And aren’t the texts always ‘riffing’ and ‘laughing’ at us?
A more serious note on the painting and text relationship.
The Improvisatory character, the in and out of ‘voices’ and the shift in registers is significant.
He. She. I. It. Me. Them. You. Plus the use of single and double inverted commas, as if to ask, who is speaking? This tactics allow us to move in and through the text and image field as if it, and we existed in multiple dimensions. Not simply the IT and the I. Not simply the horizontal, and the vertical. But, through different subjective relationships, and through being above, below, near and far, behind and within the texts via mirroring, reversing and rhetorical shift we can achieve a weightlessness which is both heady and nauseous, a euphoric and delirious phantasm almost like magic.
The pencil dragging on the wall while writing the texts. Like a rubbing on a grave.
There is a slow accretion, something mooted, which appears (as if forgotten) 6 months later. We throw this text towards the future. There is no ‘time’ in this regard (as the thing is forgotten the thing simply wasn’t there). But there is delay which is a different thing altogether. In this sense these texts bear witness to the texts yet to come.
They are inside out ghosts.
“Hello there”, they say, “I’ll be out of your hair in a week or so (but in someone else’s)”
The letters themselves do not appear at once. Some are worked, some less so, all can be worked again. Some exists as durations, a layering, some as a simple touch. The knowledge gained by this is through the experience of multiple temporalities in the one frame, and even through multiple subjectivities and temporalities.
We speak in the there and then as opposed to the here and now.
The work is an exorcism in reverse. It doesn’t seek to cast out, it seeks to draw and suck the phantoms towards it and keep them trapped inside, with only the merest glimpses pushing through.