Prismacolor pencil on paper. 2.5 x 3.5 m. This text-based work features thousands of words of anxious handwriting on a large... Read More
Prismacolor pencil on paper. 2.5 x 3.5 m.
This text-based work features thousands of words of anxious handwriting on a large roll of heavy black paper.It considers the relationship between language and narrative, and how that relationship can be disrupted in order to convey a sense of chaos.
Produced across several weeks and handwritten with white pencil on a roll of black paper, 'Bolt Upright' begins as a description of ten seconds of existential horror, where the artist wakes in the night and realises she is going to die. While the text begins as a comprehensible sentence, the description quickly begins to fracture into dozens of layers of nested parentheses, where every description of death and lack of control sparks a sudden tangential memory. In total, the work comprises approximately 12,000 words of anxious writing, in which there are only around eight completed sentences.
Testing language to its limits, 'Bolt Upright' describes ten seconds of existential terror through a series of tangential, fragmentary sentences where words sag under their own weight. Using Blanchot’s framework of the disaster as unknowable and inarticulate, the work is an exercise in failure to grasp or articulate fear of death.
Drawing on W.J.T. Mitchell and Roland Barthes’ writings around description as a way of disrupting narrative and sense-making, 'Bolt Upright' creates a wall of content that draws the reader forward and backward, moving between the granular detail of words at close range, to a shifting abstraction at a distance.