Runes or Rhubarb, Damian Magee, Platform, Belfast, 2017.

Runes or Rhubarb, Platform, Belfast 7/08/17

Dear Damian,

I went to see your show at Platform while I was at home last week, a friend had recommended it to me.

I loved it.

I think I probably liked it so much because it’s very similar to my own work;

  • I make hand bound books, and you make hand bound books.
  • The content for my books is derived from obsessive reading, notating and dissecting of other people’s words (books) in an attempt to reduce them to their base elements and to find out how language works. You also obsessively dissect other people’s words and pull them apart to find out how they work.
  • I show this process as part of my work, you show this process as part of your work. (I really liked how in ‘Build Babel’ you blew up what looked like an A4 sheet of text with all your notations on it from google translate). 

    Sorry, this is a terrible picture I took with my phone.
  • I tried to translate these dissected bits of language into images, sounds and smells to bypass language, or textual language at least, and so did you with ‘Logos’.

I liked that you use spoken language and vernacular with its ability to morph and change shape quickly over time as your starting point. I don’t do that, I use ‘literary classics’ or sometimes episodes of Casualty (I don’t recommend that). I’ve been thinking a lot about rhythm in my work recently. Language has rhythm especially when it’s spoken but good writers seem to be able to create it too. Sorry I have no idea where I’m going with this, it’s because your work has got me thinking, thanks for that. I think that’s probably the biggest compliment I could give anyone about their work.

After I visited your exhibition I went to my old studio to visit my friend Lisa and do a bit of work of my own there while I was visiting. I told her about your show and she said that she knew you and that you normally have a studio there too (Cathedral Studios). Maybe we’re studio twins who were separated at birth?

Next time I’m home or if you’re in London (I live near there), can we meet up? It might be awkward as fuck* because we don’t actually know each other but I’m willing to take the risk,

Jan

*I just read an article online that said it wasn’t cool to use the prefix ‘super’ anymore and that now we should all be saying ‘as fuck’ instead.

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