Exhausting the Space: Attempts in Self Exhaustion
/2019
Printed book, 63 pages, 14.81 x 21.01 cm
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Exhausting Space: Attempts in Self Exhaustion


March 2019, exactly a year before the start of the global pandemic, I embarked on a project exploring the impossibility of ‘exhausting a space’, an exploration of my own domestic space through image and text, a kind of  self-imposed quarantine project, which has perhaps lost all of its sense of absurdity in the context of 2020/21 when exhausting your domestic interior became a collective exercise.

Opening at the front door of a flat the book continues as a series of textual encounters with the same space of a room. Shifting in registers between the personal and impersonal it becomes clear this is the living space of the author who is hesitant to reveal too and thus the book is largely a collection of incoherent pages. Images never present the room as a unified whole instead offering glimpses of textures of the space and the objects contained within it. The book adopts different forms of writing to explore the same space. in ‘A Woman Asleep’ the reader is guided through the room in the conditional tense, in reference to the work of Georges Perec, a series of banal decisions lead nowhere, semi-legible pages of a diary are inserted at random, and a series of stage directions reimagine the room a set for a play that never begins remaining simply as stage directions for an interior. In many ways it is this tension that the book truly explores, the frustration of never quite reaching a subject. It maintains a playful attitude towards itself, referring to itself in the academic style pages and using photographs to produce new assemblages of the objects that appear in the texts, they are radically reorientated and set loose of their context. The living space is viewed as a system of objects and semi interrelated signs, they bare signification as the accumulation of “stuff” yet never entirely add up to a total description of the “Self”. Objects enter the space having lost the mystic quality they might have possessed behind the shop window. Daily objects of use they entire the routine of the everyday, bent, dog-eared, splintering and besmirched by finger prints and cigarette ash. Boredom is the catalyst of this project- the cabin fever that is attendant with spending too much time with one’s self, within the system to objects that reflects ourselves back to us. In many ways the work is a manifestation of attempts to defamiliarise the everyday, an exercise in exploring the space contained within the four walls one calls home.


Mark

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