One dot says to another dot . . .
by Helen Barker
During my residency with Gandt I was asked to contribute to a live event at George Polke Gallery. The previous artist in residence had written a text, and I was asked to respond to any/all of this text with new work. Reading over the words I was struck by the series of patterns that seemed to arise. Perhaps this was due to the text being layed out as an interactive set of stanzas, available on the Gandt website by clicking each paragraph to get to the next. You can see for yourselves here. [Though how long Gandt will have this text as their site I do not know. For a static version, or if you are reading this after they have changed their site, click here.]
The pattern that appealed to me most was food. FOOD. There were several mentions of food items in the text. So I chose to respond by weaving a new story around these foods. Unable to be at the event in person I generated a pamphlet for people to read. There was a few minutes silence at the beginning of the evening during which the audience could spend some time dwelling with the oiginal text, and my plagiarised adaptation.
Click on the image (left) to zoom in and read it…..
The event at George Polke gallery was advertised as “One dot says to another dot” and ran in conjunction with the exhibition “My Brother Is A Hairy Man” featuring work by James Ferris and Kate Hawkins. The event itself was said to be:
A Screening//A Reading//A Chewing//A Gulping//A Looking//A Groaning//A Lisping//A Harping
Addendum: I feel I should note the production method for this particular piece of writing. Each word marked in bold italic is taken directly from the original text. I began by ordering the words (namely food stuffs) in terms of their colouring, from palest to darkest along a spectrum of beige to red. The foods all fitted nicely, with the exception of the capers, into a fairly reddish colour scheme. I chose to work with this as I had recently read an article stating that the Universe is in fact the colour beige. The idea then came to me, that if the universe was beige perhaps it might be represented in these items of food and their colours. So the Universe blushes when the story reaches plum/beetroot and eventually tomatoes. The capers found an entrance at the end, with their jealous complexion of green. I like the idea of manipulating a story line by both word and colour, having to fit objects into a narrative and use their properties as actual things and not just words. I took the original text apart quite significantly, and did not reflect on its original meaning. Instead, I imposed a set of my own rules. And when the universe is your subject, you kind of need some guidelines….