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book as right hand (trailer), 2 minute duration.
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'book as right hand' (2022 - 2023 ) is a performance practice with books and paper, incorporating costume and improvised scores. The work received initial research funding from CARC (Contemporary Art Research Centre, at Kingston University).
It was performed as a 3-part solo improvisation in its first iteration on September 30th 2022 in Knights Park Library, Kingston School of Art. It was filmed by Adianna Apodaca and supported by Librarians Wendy Woodley and Sue Stockoe.
Camera: Adianna Apodaca
Part three of the performance involves a stack of withdrawn books that have not been borrowed for a minimum of five years. The library were due to remove these from the shelves after this performance took place.
"A notebook, a novel, a theory book rest against my thigh.
There’s paper covering my bed when I’m trying to take a lie down.
I read ‘I love dick’ whilst we attempt to rekindle our sex life.
I’m trying to un-learn what learning means and allow myself to learn with books as a support and paper as a soft hand that touches. I want to move with books as if they were a body. I want to tangle into paper as if in a paper-based orgy. "
‘book as right hand’ started with a single drawing. The drawing tries to articulate a particular event where I found myself moving with a pile of A4 paper in my studio. This experience of moving with paper was significant in that I seemed to lose a sense of my own edges, and experienced a kind of blurring between myself and this material. It appeared as the kind of entanglement that Karen Barad describes as 'intra-action' (2007). These pages contained ideas, were full of words and simultaneously, had a material presence and quality of touch. I found myself experiencing a kind of 'folding' with these pages.
This image of tangling with paper reminded me of times when I've grappled with theory on the page; it reminded me of burn out. It also highlighted how the A4 page is a democratic medium. No matter what the content on the surface, the paper page remained the same in material terms.
This work grapples with how closeness and devotion to making work and doing research becomes a form of intimacy (with paper, books, voices and spaces). What does intimacy with work look like? Could an engagement with theory be a practice of becoming-with (Haraway, 2008) a voice, a printed page, a book?
Camera: Adianna Apodaca
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