Monday, 14 January 2008

2007, some books (5) ('you want marks')

Frances Kruk, dig oubliette. Hackney: yt communication, 2006 (OK, out of time, that's in the spirit of this tardy blog).
Frances is a virtuoso of dreck, working with an Elite-face typewriter (12 characters to the inch), fingers and other inkable objects, bits of torn paper and/or other flat media that can overlap or stop-out. Moving everything around so the 'writing' is rarely merely perpendicular to the page-edge, scratting, splurging and defacing texts that are themselves full of uncontrolled organic matter, squirting, rotting, staining, oozing, encrusting, filth ... One series is called 'Spillages', another consists of 8 purely visual (finger painted?) pages. Rather in the spirit of Bob Cobbing's work with Xerox, but (in this book anyway) the copying process is I think transparent to the autographic page (I culd be wrong about two or three pages near the beginning). Pierre Garnier does 'dirty' typewriting like this sometimes. The covers (thick texured orange paper) are I think individually hand-decorated, with black ink streaks and splashes. And yet 'smudge fest' is not the whole of it. There is actually a very 'clean' sense of design, so each page blooms a constellation. Some text is mirrored (using acetates then?). The 3-page sequence 'pretty:' is a classically Concrete minimal pair reiterated ('blood' 'flood'), but staged toward illegibility through overlay, and also dynamically impinged with splodged and then flowing (or tentacular?) graphic matter. It would be a mistake to underestimate this work just because it seems visually and thematically readily recognisable. Actually I think it is distinctively and valuably poised in an unusual space between poetry and drawing; and I'm coming to appreciate these pages -- like 'Spillage 3' and 'plunge ... PLUG for your LIFE' -- more every time I look at them.

1 comment:

majena mafe said...

great review...thanks wont to read her...hear the sound of the defaced text
from that-unsound