‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was…’ John 1:1 KJV.
‘At the scopic level, we are no longer at the level of demand, but of desire…’ Jacques Lacan. Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 4th March 1964.
In the beginning, before the beginning, we wanted to make a book. In the bitter winter of 2011 I sat with curator Judit Bodor and the authors David Peace and Jake Arnott in The Queen Vic on Great George Street in Leeds. David, Jake and I had just delivered ‘And from the west a pale horse…’, an event curated by Judit to close my exhibition ‘Nightwood’. David and I had discussed the themes and sensibilities that were shared by our respective practices. Jake had been the arch and erudite and ever so spiky host. The bar was crowded, noisy, our company spread across several tables, the energy of the evening contained within the closed and looping circuits of fifty or so knees and elbows. The four of us had formed a conclave amidst the mob; discrete, a precious clique, (the stage had been ours & lingering adrenalin was making us temporarily wary of those who had followed us from event to pub). Judit leant forward… ‘I’m thinking, we should do a publication, your images, David’s words, something…?’ ‘Yes!’ we say, ‘Yes!’ We are drunk with the rush of the evening, with beer, or performance, or both. A few months later, David has moved back to Tokyo and Judit is no longer working in Leeds. I am drifting around in the studio, picking up & discarding threads of thought from one day to the next. I have an overdraft, a broken heart, and no deadlines to meet. Nothing has been done. Melancholy coils its skin around me.
And, yet, still, despite, or because, we have become MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall. Myself and Tom and Judit, with emails to David that tell him of our readings and our wanderings. We still want to make a book. We still want to be a book. We want to see our words, and our images, and our wanderings taken in hand and brought to order. What we must ask ourselves now, is why…