Wednesday 19 November 2014

words to be read aloud

Often we talk about what goes into a book but not the potential the book has to broadcast outside of itself. There is a performance element to the book that leads it to be read.  I am going to be exploring an artist whose main concern is text as it is read and also exploring the book as a performance space to be read from. 

Liliane Lijn works with text as it should be read. Though not within a book, the way she explores reading is fascinating. I think the way that reading is controlled and paced through her sculptures has a lot in common with the book.  Poem cones with words printed on rotate, so that words near the top where the cone is narrower move slower and words near the bottom where the cone is wider move faster. This affects your ability to read and controlling your experience of language, in a very similar way that a book may pace your experience of the text. But they challenge the nature of reading and what is able to be read. Words still exist but they blur then come into focus, forcing you as a viewer to distinguish between reading and seeing.

Another peice of work I would like to look at is: 'An Exhibition to Hear Read'. Where the book is used to be read from and broadcast out. Where reading is used to fil the space.
'An exhibition to hear read proposes the notion of speech as material gesture, in which both the texture of the word and its spoken quality are inscribed in space and time through the act of reading.  The vocal interpretation of these artworks constructs an abstract and ephemeral reality that can be said to sculpt the spaces in which it occurs. This ongoing investigation into the materiality of artwork as a question of word and speech is crystallized through a series of publications that act as both score and memory.' (Matieu Copeland)

The book here is one of the most important parts. It facilitates reading and in reading it opens itself up to a much larger space than it contained before. 

I think that I am now going to start thinking about my work in terms of how it might be read. At least in terms of how it can be read aloud. How can this change the work and can it be to its advantage. It takes the personal experience of the book and relays it as a communal one. In a way the reader claims the text that they are reading and reveals it as a performative act. Almost as if they are actors performing a script. 

I will leave you with a performance piece by Matteo Fargion called songbook which consists of a songbook that the dancers use to direct themselves.  The performance is both about the songbook as direction and the performers who act. As a result you are reading the songbook though interpreting the performance:




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