How did you land up with this textile? It was actually thanks to Benji (Liebmann) – who is so amazing. We had so many conversations and he just made the point saying “it’s very aesthetic, which if that is what you want then fine, it’s very visually pleasing but I just think you have more to offer in terms of content.” He made the connection between my calligraphic work and the thesis I did on Willem (Boshoff). And he said “I can see that you can write. You write in the sense of language and you write in the sense of painting, why does it not happen together?” and so I did. It’s scary but it feels honest.
They are not entirely aesthetic and they are not entirely language? They have to be both. It’s supposed to constantly playing off the digital and analogue together. The final painting will be analogue but all the typesetting is done digitally. Everything is optical. The idea is to redo it digitally in the same way that it was done 2000 years ago.
It just feels like you made your life very difficult. I know! I made it so difficult, it was very labor intensive. It was to speak to the idea that it’s type set in a Roman way. For you to read them as though they are on a monument but in a more daily content of things that don’t get memorialised. Physically making the epic moments of history in a digital age
No one is memorialising now, that’s the problem. We have so many digital assets but nothing tangible to look at except for “memories” on Facebook. The Internet is going to be our memorial. I like that idea of us trying to remember something. That act of trying to get that memory is also part of the erasure of it. Our most unreliable memories are actually our favourites because those are the ones we take out and handle the most. Each time you handle it, it looses something and you don’t know anymore if you are remembering the thing or the memory of it.
“My advice, lawyer up” I think it’s actually quite amazing that you are making such serious artworks that took you hours to make and you use all that time to write “good person = bad artist” It’s supposed to be quite epic! Honestly, it is a running commentary of what it’s like in my head. I have never felt more like me than I have in these works. I am excited for it to exist. It speaks to civilization. When you go to London or Europe and see any monument to any great war it’s in this font. It’s the notion of being civilized, this is what it meant to be. But what does progress even mean? If it’s written in blood and ash and dirt? That’s what empires are built on and then it goes immediately to be burnt again.
I know, but I like that you call it poetry: Does that seem audacious, perhaps?
It’s modern poetry? I didn’t know what else to call them.
Come and see the work for yourself this weekend at the Word Festival at Nirox before Alice Edy burns them. You can get your tickets at nuticket.co.za