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Adrift on the Sea of Fertility

(lunar surface), 2017

residue from sanded Vogue magazine, human kidney stones

Sanded Vogue pages
Installation view

I became interested in the notion of the writer's block, sympathetic to this bodily state of wordlessness, being stuck, of infertility.

Whilst creating this work I was reading a novel by George Gissing called 'New Grub Street' (published in 1891). The main protagonist is Edwin Reardon and in Reardon we see a man who inhabits this state. During the course of the story he is gradually consumed by it, forced on by his inability to adapt to changing social and market forces and literary tastes (a Victorian 'dumbing down' in literature).

I proceeded to sand off the ink from the pages of a contemporary mass circulation magazine (Vogue), referencing the 'chit-chat' and 'tit-bits' of literary forms within the novel. I liked the idea of rendering the magazine into a block, monolithic and inert, the condition of a person succumbed by this state. This sanding process resulted in a fine powdery substance. A miniature 'lunar' landscape has been created from this residue, a barren interior where words and meaning do not belong, a reflection of Reardon's own internal landscape.

It felt appropriate to install this piece in one of the (Pen) museum's cabinets, a space where time is arrested and where very little changes, like the surface of the moon.

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Adrift on the Sea of Fertility, 2017
residue from sanded Vogue magazine, human kidney stone, polyester
Installation: Biblioteca Municipal, Alijo, Portugal for 3rd Global Print
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