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Place & Memory – Exhibition and Film Screening.

PLACE AND MEMORY WARMLY INVITE YOU TO THE FOLLOWING EVENTS

 EXHIBITION PREVIEW

 PLACE AND MEMORY

Friday 11th October, 6pm to 8pm, Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane Leeds.

The exhibition continues from Saturday 12th to 19th October inclusive, 10am – 3pm Monday to Saturday.

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Artists, writers, and filmmakers have responded to the city of Leeds. Sharing personal and collective memories, they examine the hidden and overlooked corners of the city, finding beauty in unexpected places. Exploring graveyards, wastelands, woodlands, and a hospital’s echoing corridors, they have created drawings, installations, photographs, video, poetry, sculpture, and sound.

The evening will include a wind-up gramophone DJ set courtesy of artist Sandy Holden, and a poetry reading by writer, actor, and artist Nigel Stone.

The PLACE AND MEMORY artists are: Amanda Burton, Donna Coleman, Sarah Deakin, Charys Ellmer, Sandy Holden, Lorna Johnstone, Morticia, and Nigel Stone.

FILM SCREENING

 PLACE AND MEMORY: Eight Artists, One City

 Saturday 12th October. 3 – 4pm, White Cloth Gallery, 24 Aire Street, Leeds.

A poetic journey with the PLACE AND MEMORY artists as they journey through ‘edgelands’ and echoing corridors, housing estates and wooded walks, underground rivers and hidden graveyards, finding hidden beauty in the overlooked and the unseen. The film was created by Judit Bodor, Emma Bolland, Brian Lewis and Tom Rodgers, in partnership with the PLACE AND MEMORY artists.

Contact: Emma Bolland. Email: placeandmemory2@gmail.com

To find out more go to http://placeandmemoryblog.wordpress.com/

These events are part of the Love Arts Festival http://loveartsleeds.co.uk/

PLACE AND MEMORY is generously funded by Arts Council England, Leeds Inspired, and the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. We are grateful for the support of Arts and Minds Leeds, Inkwell, Holy Trinity Church, and White Cloth Gallery

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What Is A Book If It Will Not Be A Book?

Emma Bolland

This post comprises following the script used for my short paper presented at Impact8 International Conference of Print hosted by The University of Dundee 23rd of August 1st September 2013, together with the live audio recording of the presentation. The accompanying slide presentation, (sometimes cropped and edited to the better appear in the post), are inserted into the text as illustrations. The live audio recording of the presentation can be listened to in parallel with the reading of the written text by clicking on the Soundcloud icon below. The gaps in the delivery are the pauses that were allowed for the audience to view / read the slides as part of the narrative. A special thank you to Brian Lewis for both recording and technically assisting the presentation, and for editorial and creative input into the text.

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The Unfortunates, a novel by B.S. Johnson famously known as ‘the book in the box’ first published in 1969 by Panther in association with Secker and Warburg, comes with the following note:

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‘This novel has twenty-seven sections, temporarily held together by a removable wrapper.  Apart from the first and last sections (which are marked as such), the other twenty-five sections are intended to be read in random order. If readers prefer not to accept the random order in which they receive the novel, then they may re-arrange the sections into any other random order before reading.’

This, then, was book liberated; narrative unbound, content and control handed over to the other.  True, we are instructed to read the first and last chapters as such, but without glue and pagination to keep us on the straight and narrow, who’s to know?

Prior to the Picador reprint of 1999, The Unfortunates had been out of print for thirty years.  Copies of the first edition change hands for hundreds of times its original selling price, the highest prices being paid for those copies that have not been disordered by a capricious reader – where the temporary and removable binding has become immovable, and fixed.  I have owned a copy of the second edition for some months now.  It is beautiful, sleek, and substantial. It is also one of the most forbidding objects I have ever held in my hands.

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Viewed from the side, it resembles nothing so much as a coffin snapping its jaws at a recalcitrant corpse. I am, I confess, yet to read it.

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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. Earlier that evening, David, Jake and I had delivered ‘And from the west a pale horse…’, an event curated by Judit as part of my exhibition ‘Nightwood’, in which David and I discussed the themes and sensibilities that were shared by our respective practices.  We were preoccupied by narratives of violence and of the body physical and politic: disrupted, dismembered and corrupt – but also with spectacular and specular exposition of text: the writer’s page made visual, the artist’s surface made page.  Jake had been the arch and erudite and ever so spiky host, entertaining, glamorous, and very slightly drunk. 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, and lingering adrenalin made us temporarily wary of those who had accompanied us from the gallery to the pub. Judit leans forward… ‘I’m thinking, we should do a publication, images, words, something…?’ ‘Yes!’ we say, ‘Yes!’.  The event, unlike so many of my ‘artist’s talks’, had been full to capacity, busy, bustling.  ‘Faces’ from the regional arts aristocracy were in the audience, drawn by the near celebrity of ‘real’ authors. During the event I had been confident, engaged, enriched, and charged. I felt like a woman of substance.

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I had been seated with Jake to my left and David to my right. My words, my work, were framed by theirs. I was part of something. I was held secure between their weight and reputation; a psychic dust jacket, privileging and protecting my practice, defending and displaying my fragile body of work. I was covered. ‘Yes!’ I said, ‘Yes! A publication, definitely!’. My ego was intoxicated with the rush of the evening, with performance, presentation, and pride.

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The dust settled, time moved on. Judit was working elsewhere, David had moved to Tokyo, and nothing had been done. That summer I was melancholy, fragmented, drifting around my studio with no projects and no deadlines, my ego and my sense of self battered by unrequited desires. For no purpose other than distraction, I picked up my copy of David’s novel 1980, and began to read it again.

The book is a fictional re-imagining of the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who, in the years leading up to the book’s title, murdered at least thirteen women, many of them in the city of Leeds. The book contains poetic, disrupted descriptions of places that I know well, and the fragmented prose began to rearrange itself on the drawing board in my mind.

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My thoughts turned to the forgotten publication, and I emailed Judit.  Deftly, insightfully, she worked her curatorial magic on the amorphous desires conjured by my emptiness. Joined by Tom Rodgers, we became the collaborative project that is MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall and set out to wander the city, our reference points the multiple lenses of David’s text.

I had only one objective, overarching, imperative, and unequivocal: to create a book.

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The physical book is a haptic seduction, a visual delight. In its material presence, its ability to be physically held, it offers a fragile promise of both a literal and psychic binding; ordering a narrative of a secure creative self.

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It is, for me, the object that performs the act of what Lacan described in relation to the mirror phase as ‘imaginary capture’, and in this sense perhaps all books are ‘the book in the box’. The image I wish to capture is the image outside of myself: the image of an artist / author as an object-fetish validated by an internalized external gaze: the image that I see in the mirror of fulfillment, not that which is reflected by the mirror of lack. Inside of myself there is an un-writable absence, but if I can look at a book and see that I have created it, then I will know that I can create it, and that the words I cannot write can be, and have been, and therefore will be written.   I can attribute to the object – ‘Le petit objet d’autre’ – those qualities, which I desire but fear to attribute to myself. The book is the fetish-commodity through which, by proxy, I relate my value as an artist to myself and to the world.

In my mind, or at least in that part of the mind that possesses the level of confused clarity that can exist only outside of thought and language, I knew what our, (my), book would be.

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Everything would make sense…

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And all our actions would be the size of pages…

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The project inhabits real and fictional narratives of the physical and metaphorical, ruptured body; the body shredded, dismembered, and scattered. At their worst, Sutcliffe’s mutilation of his victims involved the most degrading of displays: limbs splayed, genitals exposed, breasts slashed, entrails sprawling from a gutted torso: the body as post-traumatic landscape. It seems no coincidence that the favoured locations for these acts, were the flat and open spaces of municipal parks and playing fields, the spectacles of atrocity laid out as if as on a canvas, where they would very quickly be discovered and seen. Much of our research process has involved visiting these sites, and mediating our experiences through disconnected fragments of the novel’s text, collecting the flotsam and jetsam of discarded, disregarded and decaying objects, and the uncultivated edgelands flora that we find there, whilst developing and enacting a series of performative rituals and interventions. At all levels the project is dealing with, and acting out, the fragmentary, the disrupted, the traumatic and unruly, and it is therefore hardly surprising that it soon became clear that the material would not obey, and was resisting linear narratives, insisting instead on an aberrant and scattered codex.  Both in the studio and in galleries, scraps and scrawls and fragments intrude upon the considered aesthetic of drawings and photographs, in a re-enactment of the unpredictable process of research.

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This rebellious and mutable body scratched at my not so latent creative anxieties.  The work that had started with a book, that was to become a book, would not be a book, and so I began to problematize what this publication might be, in relation to an orthodox and constrained concept of a bound and integral narrative of image and text.

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An obvious solution to the problem of MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall as publication, would be to adopt the strategy of the boxed codex as used by B S Johnson for the Unfortunates, which, in theory, would seem to offer a freedom and fluidity of content that the project’s material requires, and a level of agency which the viewer / reader might require to experience it. And yet, as an object, I find it forbiddingly fixed, its impenetrability increasing with each physical encounter. Despite its intention of openness, when I hold it, I feel only a sense that it is locked

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I am talking here, as stated previously, of the second edition, the only one I own, whose lavish production values reflect the veneration in which its author is now held. Johnson committed suicide aged 40 in 1973, a tragedy that together with the avante-garde & experimental nature of his work ensured that he achieved cult status. The box is rigid and robust to the point of machismo, the cover design a modishly minimal pale green and red, with a curious use of Dymo punch tape for the title lettering. The interior paper band, (originally a broad soft lilac), is a narrow, overly tight blood red. The overarching impression is of a vicious reliquary, preserving and protecting its sanctified remains from prying eyes and dirty fingers.

The first edition, both because of its rarity, and of the Romanticised mythologizing of B S Johnson after his death, commands breathtaking prices that guarantee that those copies with binding still intact, will never now be read.

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The irony is that in comparison to the second edition, it is a rather beautifully fragile proposition, much more accurately representing the subtleties of Johnson’s talent. The box is shallow, almost flimsy, with a prettily fluid cover design, using an elegant and unassuming typeface. The palette a subtle range of almost browns and almost mauves – the colours of a fading bruise. I want to stroke it, and yet, I am still not sure that I want to read it.

The solution of the boxed codex was one proposed, by myself, quite early in the project, but it has taken the process of writing this text to understand the nature of my underlying ambivalence. My antipathy towards The Unfortunates, and my inability to feel comfortable with any as yet imagined form for the physical publication of our material is that I cannot bear the thought of completion. The box or indeed any material constraint is too much a symbol of putting a lid on things, of putting them away.  The thing I most desire is the thing I most fear.

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Perhaps this is still a project that will be a book, or perhaps this is now a project about becoming a book.  Although not planned, it is no coincidence that most of the project’s physically public manifestations have taken place within the context of spaces or events that are and were concerned with text as much as image.

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The first was The Wild Pansy Press Project Space, curated by Chris Taylor and Simon Lewandowski at the University of Leeds, a venue for experimental works, which use the practices of reading, writing and publication as their medium and/or content. There, although complimented by a small number of very large visual works, the textual and detrital ephemera of our research was foregrounded.  The second was at Redrawing The Maps, a week of events held at Somerset House as part of the John Berger retrospective Art and Property Now, an exhibition focusing as much on his written work as on his visual work. Other installations have been and will be staged as interventions into textual events and symposiums. Our response, when confronted with an orthodox gallery – has been to imagine the space as a book, turning walls into indices, appendices and covers.

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All that I have written here, and that you are hearing or reading now, has to do with my own anxieties and relationships about and with the idea of book, and about my solipsistic and contradictory fears and fetishisation regarding a completed, or closed body of work. But there are three people in MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall, and the joy that is the moving towards completion is because of the collaboration, because there is no single vision, no one fixed form. We still want to make a book, but what will our book be? For now, we do not know, and perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps one cannot bind process, bind questioning, bind ways of trying to see.

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UNRULY TEXT / UNRULY IMAGE: (WHAT IS A BOOK IF IT WILL NOT BE A BOOK?)

Emma Bolland will be presenting a short paper at ‘Borders and Crossings: The Artist as Explorer’. The Impact8 International Printmaking Conference: a celebration of interdisciplinarity and exploration through the medium of print hosted by The University of Dundee. The conference is part of Print Scotland: 28th August – 1st September 2013. The abstract for the paper can be found below. A sound recording of the presentation and a PDF of the illustrated full paper will be posted here after the conference.

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The physical book is a haptic seduction, a visual delight. In its material presence, its ability to be physically held, it offers a fragile promise of both literal and psychic binding; bounding and securing a narrative of creative ownership. Being seen as, and seeing oneself as ‘author’, is entwined with the state and status of ‘being published’, and the complex relations with a perceived parental authority of a real or imagined editor / curator, and with a desire to direct and control the readings of one’s of texts and images. A psychic ‘dust jacket’ might protect the artist’s / authors practice from pollutions that could undermine the sense of a defined and protected creative self; a literal ‘body of work’. The idea of ‘book’ could therefore be seen as a hybrid Freudian / Lacanian fetish, in that it conceals an intangible and un-writable absence, the elusive self.

The presenter’s current collaborative project, ‘MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall’, had initially intended its outcome to be a text / image publication. The project revolves around both real and fictional narratives of the ruptured body; the body shredded, dismembered and scattered, and as the project has developed, the material being produced has become increasingly unruly, resisting both the narrative and physical bindings that might reassure the collaborators regarding both the object and subject of the work. We must now question the physical seduction of the ordered page, and ask ourselves wether we are able to imagine an alternative to the ‘dust (straight) jacket’ of binding that is the unruly and mutable possibility of the ‘creative codex’, which will open itself to a capricious restructuring by those to whom it is handed over.

Emma Bolland 2013

THE LITTLE OBJECT OF THE OTHER (Part 1)

Emma Bolland

‘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 Realm Of The Scopic I Am Imagined. Photograph: Emma Bolland

In The Realm Of The Scopic I Am Imagined. Photograph: Emma Bolland

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…

Place & Memory

HolyTrinity

Holy Trinity Church, Leeds. Photo: Emma Bolland

Place & Memory is a professional development project as part of Milky Way You Will Hear Me Call.

Between July and October 2013 we will work with a wider community of creative individuals in Leeds who are interested in site, place, consciousness and mental health issues and how these can be approached through different media and arts practices.

Eight Leeds-based artists, who are currently not in education and who all experienced mental health issues in their lives, will be selected to develop new works towards a group exhibition in Holy Trinity Church as part of Love Arts Leeds Festival, October 2013.

A film and publication will complete and document the process and will be launched at Inkwell, Leeds as part of an event accompanying the exhibition. During the four months artists will work alongside each other and will be mentored by project leaders, Emma Bolland, Judit Bodor and Tom Rodgers through one-to-one and group mentoring, portfolio reviews and workshops developing their practical and critical skills.

Place & Memory is generously supported by Arts Council England, Inkwell, Leeds, City Council Leeds Inspired, Leeds Mind, Arts & Minds Leeds and the Leeds and York NHS Partnership Foundation Trust.

Every Place A Palimpsest (Part Two)

EMMA BOLLAND

‘Nothing defines the specific rootedness of a location – the transformation of a place into a site – more than its being founded on a grave’. Francesco Pellizzi

‘The eye reads forward as the memory reads back.’ WS Graham

‘Every Place A Palimpsest (Part Two), was written, & performed by Emma Bolland as part of the Occursus Post-Traumatic Landscapes Symposium. The paper focuses on the unheimlich of the non-space in the erasure of traumatic trace, and examines site in relation to both her personal history and the collaborative process of MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall.  The paper ends with an extended reading from the novel 1980 by David Peace. The performance was contextualised by an installation of work by MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall. Thank you to Brian Lewis for technical support with performing,  recording, and sound editing.

In Memory of Wilma McCann

1947 – 1975

Post-traumatic Landscapes

MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall at the Occursus Post-traumatic Landscapes Symposium

Post-traumatic Landscapes: A Symposium on Cities

The University of Sheffield Arts Enterprise

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 10am to 4pm

Empty: Prince Phillip Playing Fields. Photograph, Tom Rodgers

Empty: Prince Phillip Playing Fields. Photograph, Tom Rodgers 2012

Emma Bolland will be presenting a short paper: EVERY PLACE A PALIMPSEST (Part Two). The paper will focus on Prince Phillip Playing Fields; municipal playing fields located on the borders of the Scott Hall and Chapeltown areas of Leeds.  This was the site of the murder, and subsequent discovery of the body of Wilma McCann: a victim of Peter Sutcliffe, the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ The paper will examine the anonymity of the site, and the exploration of the idea of the ‘non-space’ as an attempted erasure of traumatic histories; referencing the writings of Gordon Burn and John Newling and their examination of Gloucester City Council’s demolition of 25 Cromwell Street; the home of Fred and Rosemary West. The author’s history and ‘pre-history’ of a continuing personal and creative relationship with the site will locate the experience of site as mediated through the lenses, mythologies and narratives of contested memories, media representations, and the pre-existing themes of landscape and trauma as central to her individual practice. The conclusion will examine the site’s position in relation to the on going collaboration  ‘MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall’ between the author, Judit Bodor, and Tom Rodgers, and its representation in the novel by David Peace, 1980, which was the starting point for the project.

To contextualise the paper, MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall will be staging a one day temporary installations of layered images and texts.

Places at the symposium are free. To see details of all the presentations, and to book a place at the symposium, please go to the Occursus website.

Winter Music

Emma Bolland

… alone in this starless endless night …  to never hear the songs that made me dance …

David Peace from ‘1980’

And when we die and float away / Into the night, the Milky Way / You’ll hear me call, as we ascend / I’ll see you there, then once again…

From ‘Thank You For Being a Friend’, lyrics by Andrew Gold

'We are echoing on the walls' - guests at The Unruly Page, March 2013. Photograph: Tom Rodgers.

‘We are echoing on the walls’ – guests at The Unruly Page, March 2013. Photograph: Tom Rodgers.

Released in 1978, the song ‘Thank You for Being a Friend’ was written by Andrew Gold, who recorded it for his third album, ‘All This and Heaven Too’. Fragments of the lyrics are strewn amongst the pages of David’s novel. Shaken free from the familiarity of the music, the interrupted refrain takes on an uncanny echo.  We learned and recorded the song in one session in the autumn of 2012, as the leaves fell from the trees, all of us singing & playing fiddle & guitar, in Tom’s front room. In the bone-cold gloom of this endless winter, I rework the recording, remembering all the calls that went unheard…


With thanks to Penny Whitworth and Brian Lewis for technical assistance. X

The Unruly

 

The Unruly

LINES OF DESIRE

EMMA BOLLAND (with Tom & Judit in my mind).

What is the language using us for?  / It uses us all and in its dark / Of dark actions selections differ.

W.S. Graham, from: What Is The Language Using Us For?

Thou tellest my wanderings: put then my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

Psalm 56:8 King James Version

Night Walks. Photograph: Tom Rodgers

Night Walks. Photograph: Tom Rodgers

We have come together and bound ourselves with the dark narrative of David’s text, journeys plotted through the intertwining of the novel’s numbered pages and the tangles of the gridded map: but the fictions of the pages are not contained, and leak into our own fictions, and raise the shades of other texts.  The places named, the lists; Halifax, Leeds, Preston, Bradford, Manchester, Huddersfield, Morley; the blackened stones of a real and imagined industrial North are threaded through with words of romance and revolution, of wealth and hardship and Kapital, that overcast the parks with the shadows of the mill.  The spectre of our own narratives, these too are raised.  When I came first to this city, just three years after the ending of the horrors we now explore, I walked these same places enacting a private premonition of the work we do now.  Chapeltown Road, The Hayfield, The Gaiety, a descent through the satanic mills and liminal woodland of Buslingthorpe Lane.  Alone in the chaotic dark, shit-faced on speed and spirits, a stumbling target, (there but for the grace of God): my memories reworked by and working in my reading of the words on David’s page.  The coming together is not of ourselves, and our chosen text, but of all of these things, and more, and of all the other, echoing texts that we carry within us; written and read and lived – shared or secretly held.  The things we find and make and do will not be prescribed and preordained by our collective will and an ordered collation of our constituent parts.  The words are weaving and intersecting: the sites and the narrative we place at the forefront of our labours is an unruly catalyst for uneasy and unexpected distillations of our co-mingling.

Prince Phillip Playing Fields, Leeds. Photograph: Tom Rodgers

Prince Phillip Playing Fields, Leeds. Photograph: Tom Rodgers

The sites that we are reading and writing, walking and talking, are in many senses mundane.  Municipal, spatially limited, socially and geographically contained.  Yet, through their histories as sites of terror, death, and grief, they are also wild places, ambiguously bounded, a self-narrated and problematic sublime.  Our particular sublime, (in the sense of an approachable, digestible, and legible terror), is not an orthodox experience of ‘the vast and overwhelming’, the precipice and the howling wind.

Where We Tread. Photograph Tom Rodgers.

Where We Tread. Photograph Tom Rodgers.

It is found in the small and the fragmented, the forensic layers that are the palimpsest of the whole: grass, graffiti half erased upon a bench, a broken fence, a sodden littered list of faded names.  The parks and playing fields of our cities defy domestication as much as any mountainside, and furthermore deny their externally and paternally authored purpose: the sanitary narrative of dog-walking, picnics, ‘fresh air’ and ball games disrupted by the infectious counter-texts of alcohol, drugs, vandalism, sex, abduction, transgression and death.  These are conflicting, oppositional, but perversely interdependent fictions: the meaning of one a reflective and conditional context of the other.  Historically, a Romantic experience of place explicitly privileges mediation through language.  Inevitably, given my/our preoccupation with the disruptive and the transcendent, this Romanticism is an aspect of our paradigm; an aspect we would be foolish to deny, and which we willingly embrace.  It fuses word and image to make a hieroglyph of the whole, its general systems claiming meta-meanings that are independent of our chosen poetic.  Language is all.  We walk around these places, ambiguously anchored by the physical & psychic ballast of our books.  With maps, and pens, and paper, the word is inescapable.  Even the camera lens has a glossary and grammar of its own; but then the wind may change, or in the corner of our eye a bird fly low between the swings and suddenly, in ways we do not comprehend our lines of our thoughts are gone, and we are lost.  What is then that dizzying moment, when I (we) (they) (he) (she) walk off the edge of language, into a temporality where there are no words, where the text is terrifying in its absence?  Where are we then?

The word cannot completely contain us, because it itself is never completely contained.  It is in the moment of transgression that ‘the words escape’, where we find the things that ‘hurry away from their names’, and in the places in which we walk even the blades of grass are ringing still with violation.  In the tremolo-theremin of this uncanny echo even the ghosts of language are erased.  These are the momentary textual lacunae into which the comforts of our syntax disappear; and the grace of risk will pour into the vacuum of its disintegration and we can write our words anew.

This text was originally written for our poster publication to accompany the exhibition at The Wild Pansy Project Space, University of Leeds, 2012.