Thursday, 14 April 2011



Cheryl Garner, "You never know the whole story" (2011)

I am not telling the whole story - using unimaginative language – language resolutely plain and rational and allowing to be lead on by questions, the story is interrupted by questions, that little space between… turns on expectation and anticipation as they appear curiously over the surface.

The recollection of events, experience and knowledge of the storyteller attaching what is said to what is unsaid. He recounts the events, expressing and telling his story creating a permanent change in the relationship between people - it is a performance of one narrator.

The story is a ritual a serial telling unrestrained and spontaneous in the form of continuity it has been played before and will be played again.

Monday, 11 April 2011

A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel - Tom Phillips Artist



Tom Phillips randomly purchased a novel called A Human Document by Victorian author William Hurrell Mallock and began a project of creating art from its pages. He painted, collaged and drew over the pages, leaving some of the text peeking through in serpentine bubble shapes, creating 'found' text with its own story.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Rachel Goodyear - Artist


Rachel Goodyear, drawings present captured moments in a world where social etiquette and boundaries no longer, or maybe never, applied.
Goodyear's drawings are suffused with a gentle menace, displaying a mass of ambiguous truths and blatant invention. They walk the line between playful curiosity and sadistic torment, revealing a place where the mundane and the spectacular, the blessed and the cursed, dwell in uneasy accord.





“Nothing is at home in these works, as if the world had been tapped lightly and everything had stumbled into unfamiliar positions”
- Dave Beech (2005)


beak stab

2010
pencil on paper
23cm x 23cm

Friday, 8 April 2011

"A tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously..."
- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

The Narrative Imagination - Barbara Hardy

Drawn on literary narrative in order to bring out its affinity with the forms of everyday life, dreams and fantasy, lies and slander, bad and good gossip, affectionate telling and reticence.
We cannot take a step in life or literature without using an image. It is hard to take more than a step without narrating. Before we sleep at night we tell over to ourselves what we may also have told to others, the story of the past day.
We mingle truths and falsehoods, not always quite knowing where one blends into the other.
As we sleep we dream dreams from which we wake to remember, half remember and almost remember, in forms that may be dislocated, dilapidated or deviant but are recognizably narrative.
We begin the day by narrating to ourselves and probably to others our expectations, plans, desires, fantasies and intentions. The action in which the day is passed coexists with a reverie composed of the narrative revision and rehersals of past and future, and in this narrative too it is usually hard to make the distinction between real and fantasy.
We meet family, friends, intimates, acquaintances, strangers, and exchange stories, overtly and convertly. We may try to tell all, in true confession, or tell half-truths or lies, or refuse to do more than tell the story of the weather, the car, or the food.
Even when we try to escape narrative, as when we listen to music - we tend to lapse. Humankind cannot bear very much abstraction or discursive reasoning. The stories of our days and the stories in our days are joined in that autobiography we are all engaged in making and remaking, as long as we live, which we never complete, though we all know how it is going to end.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Quotes from 'Rodinsky's Room' - Iain Sinclair and Rachel Lichtenstein.

"A text that had been worn away by indifference, the exigencies of the everyday. A text that could only be reassembled by sympathetic magic, some peculiar marriage of scholarship and obsession." -Iain Sinclair.

"...forcing us to remember those who might prefer to be forgotten. But we can't allow it. We want to hold them here, in place, to give meaning to our own temporary residence." -Iain Sinclair

"...to complete the story that this stifled writer began: a room that was so purposefully disarranged, stacked with hints and echoes. Open the wardrobe. Sample the diary. Begin anywhere and you will find more material, tributaries branching from tributaries, than anyone life can hope to unravel." -Iain Sinclair

"...I tried to fit this landscape to the visionary riffs of Blake and De Quincey. I pillaged legends, stole names back from their well-earned obscurity. Understood how men became humans with birth certificates mingle with immortal fictions, with Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, Dr Jekyll, Dr Mabuse and the Golem of Prague." -Iain Sinclair

"This was an unrequired story. My feeling now is that the routines I listened to were the ones I solicited. I was looking for confirmations and extensions of what I already knew. Rodinsky was an empty space, a lacuna; that which was not to be uncovered something sealed and forgotten. This was the period, the seventies between his disappearance and the breaking open the attic room. He wasn't visible or invisible. He had neither presence nor absence. His story hadn't been formulated." -Iain Sinclair

"Rachel Lichtenstein began by cataloguing the theatre of the garret, listing everything. 'I have photographs of the room, the objects,' she told me. 'Do you have a photograph of Rodinsky?' I asked. 'No,' she said. She was still the assistant stage-manager, waiting for the arrival of the principal actor." -Iain Sinclair

Saturday, 2 April 2011

There is a lot more narrative around, it seems, than I realised!

The self – or life – personal experience – is essentially constructed by or through narrative – by the stories that we tell ourselves or that others tell about us - life as narrative.
“a life as led is inseparable from a life as told… not how it was but how it is interpreted and reinterpreted, told and retold” –Jerome Bruner
The model of narrative in some senses formulating reality – being extensively applied to other contexts in which we interpret or control the world.

Story-telling – personal tales that have structured ideas of urban culture – stories about a city with self narratives of urban residents – revolves around the multiple ways in which we use narrative to formulate ideas and experience – self narrative – to hear their individual voices – to uncover their taken-for-granted narrative conventions – in the same spirit an outsider might wish to ask about in the taken-for-granted ways of our own culture – what could seem natural the familiar accounts we hear and tell about the firsthand experiences of our own lives – laying aside issues of the truth or falsity of stories formulated and told.
What tales do we use to shape our understanding and our experience of urban life?
We are habituated not only to tell stories, but also to compare them, accept or reject them and put them in context. (this may be partly an unselfconscious activity) many of the stories we tell are told about urban life – an experience likely to be familiar – everyday experience of ourselves as story-telling and story-hearing.
What happens when we are faced with unfamiliar story-telling?
We must work to recognise the conventions that shape it – to see the patterns in what the tellers and hearers experience as ‘natural’ – perhaps seen from a more distant view – drawing on wider cultural themes and narrative conventions – the personal stories of individual lives can be treated similarly.

Self-narrations – exploring story-telling processes for the 'creative constructing' of experience, with particular attention to personal narrations. Relate them to mythic themes about urban life – reflecting individual.
"We dream in narrative, day-dream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate, and love by narrative. In order really to live, we make up stories about ourselves and others, about the personal as well as the social past and future." –Barbara Hardy

Sophie Calle - (1953) is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist.


Sophie Calle is a French artist who works with photographs and performances, placing herself in situations almost as if she and the people she encounters were fictional. She also imposes elements of her own life onto public places creating a personal narrative where she is both author and character. She has been called a detective and a voyeur and her pieces involve serious investigations as well as natural curiousity.

"...These works had involved me so much in the act of following that I wanted, in a certain way, to reverse these relationships. So I asked my mother to hire a private detective to follow me, without him knowing that I had arranged it, and to provide photographic evidence of my existence." -Sophie Calle

The novelist Paul Auster based a character, Maria, on Calle in his novel Leviathan (1992). After reading the novel, Calle decided to try and become the character, to recreate the parts of Maria that Auster had made up. Maria had a "chromatic diet", eating food of only one colour on a given day. Monday orange: carrots, cantaloupe, shrimps. Tuesday red: tomatoes, steak tartar. And so on. For a week, Calle followed this regime and photographed it.

"He had used my real life to create a fictional character and I wanted to reverse the process. I asked him to write a character that I could become. But he wouldn't. He said it was too dangerous. He didn't want to be responsible if something happened. He offered me something more simple," -Sophie Calle.