Appropriating Language #24
Vernissage 24.11.2018 from 5 pm to 9 pm
Exhibition until 06.01.2019
A clean book either belongs to a public collection, or is meant to be accessible to other readers at a later point, or it has not been read yet. Conversely, notations on the margins of a book signify that it (the book) has become a fairly personal object of analysis, discussion with the author, even a notebook of one's own, a space for incidental writings.
Marginalia, in most of the cases, cannot exist separately - they rather fill in the gaps observed while reading a text, therefore they need to be seen in their most adjacent contexts.
Marginalia allow a reader to appropriate empty space. Marginalia are notations of every kind, associations, scrabbles, drawings, reflections, questions to the author, negations, affirmations, even rewritings of the same word(s) or sentence(s) by hand - and as such they become a kind of personalized bookmarks.
Marginalia could also be compared to synapses that facilitate an electrical signal to pass from one neuron to another.
Reading marginalia after a period of time could be a madeleine moment by simply putting a chain of events back to work. Likewise certain fragrances and flavours bring to mind vacant memories and places - with reading a notation on the margin one summons up the impulse of having transcribed one’s own voice on the verge of the page.
“Marginalia - Searching for a Painter and a Writer“ is an exhibition proposed by two contemporary artists, Emmanuelle Castellan and Laurence Cathala. During the preliminary stage of the show while assembling and developing materials, the two artists looked for literary sources, manuscripts, and books in order to implement, quote, mimic or relate to them within their artworks. Thereby the fragments from “Bouvard and Pecuchet” manuscript by Gustave Flaubert, (L.C.) Gertrude Stein’s “Autobiography” (L.C.), (E.C.), and “Embarrassments”, a collection of short stories by Henry James (E.C.) became the artists' immediate inspirations.
Cathala has remade several intimate objects of Gertrude Stein, i.e. a soft towel, a handkerchief, and a yellowish letter. Curiously, those remakes have been executed in cast and on paper, “embroidered”, “waved” and “typewritten” in paint. Castellan, on the other hand, has cut inner parts from an oblong painting rendering the empty space so that not the painting’s centre, but its periphery has imperatively become the distinguished space - as if the artist was aiming to literally quote the famous line from Gertrude Stein while creating her cut-out-painting: “Act so that there is no use in a centre.”*
“Let me emphasize this strange place where the unwritten thrives because of the written”** and let’s allow marginalia to be the centre of the 24th edition from the series Appropriating Language.
For Marginalia exhibition there will be displayed the listed objects and artworks:
graphic design: laurence cathala & gabriela simon
edition of 100, digital print on coated matt paper, 59,4 x 84,1 cm
free, distribution to the public
Diplomatic transcription is a double-sided poster, one side depicts fragments from manuscripts "Bouvard & Pécuchet by "Gustave Flaubert, the other side is its "diplomatic transcription" (meaning archeological and typographical copy of a manuscript), i.e. a digital drawing based on the first texts.
Gertrude Stein Remake
Laurence Cathala, 2018
Display of a collection of six (copied) items made by Gertrude Stein
3 RGB books, books with red, green and blue paper covers and bookmarks — 3 versions - French, German, English - of The Autobiography of Alice Toklas, Gertrude Stein — R 12,5 x 19,6 cm, G 13,3 x 20,4 cm, B 12,6 x 19,2 cm
Letterhead paper, paint and drawing on paper, 21,6 x 27,9 cm
Headed card, paint and drawing on paper, 15,3 x 11,7 cm
Handkerchief, drawing, colour pencils on paper, 47 x 47, 5 cm
Wallpaper sample, digital print on paper, 40,6 x 44,5 cm
Handtowell, gypsum cast, 17,5 x 30 x 1,8 cm.
Also, an installative painting and drawings by Emmanuelle Castellan
* “Tender Buttons” - by Gertrude Stein
** “Fieldwork Notebooks” Notebook Nr 001, by Michael Taussig, Documenta (13)