This residency and exhibition is taking place at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield with HMRCollective
HMRCollective are Helen Frank, Madeleine Walton, and Rachel Smith.
In this project three artists have taken Jean-Paul Sartre’s book Words as reading material and responded to the text in ways that seem to express reading behaviour that Roland Barthes calls ‘insolent in that it interrupts the text, and smitten in that it keeps returning to it’.
Reading has the potential to be a immersive experience, yet at other times distractions take over. External stimuli interfere with any absorption in the words and narrative. The same passage can be read over and over, as an internal dialogue takes over from the text. In The Rustle of Language Barthes explores the experience of looking up from a book while reading, as language is constructed in the mind of the reader. He writes:
Has it never happened, as you were reading a book, that you kept stopping as you read, not because you weren't interested, but because you were: because of a flow of ideas, stimuli, associations? In a word, haven't you ever happened to read while looking up from your book?
This work allows different artists to respond to their own reading process as well as each others work in a collaborative manner which explores reading, writing, thinking, and making. The artists appropriate, disrupt, and dislocate the original flow of Sartre’s narrative as they assemble their own material response. Each artists’ material reaction is answered and reworked by the next artist. This process pushes the meaning away from the original in a generative and speculative manner exploring how and ‘what the reader understands’ rather than ‘what the author meant’.
Here understanding represents more than just the multiple readings a text can offer. Comprehension is taken to the limits of coherence and towards the asemic. The intention is to make process visible and in doing so reveal something of the way in which meaning is sought and rejected, constructed and deconstructed, as a way of materialising thinking.
There will be an event on Friday 7th October - 6-8pm
There will be readings from the developing work, with a chance to see the work, and talk to the artists
The basis for this project has developed from the artist book by Rachel Smith Reading Words. This book was produced as part of the AMBruno artist book project ‘words’ which contains 16 artist books, originally shown at the Leeds International Artists Bookfair in 2016 and now held at the Tate archive and The Poetry Library in London. http://ambruno.co.uk/words.html