This is the blue book created for the London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery. The project was developed from a collaboration between myself and writer Gareth Durasow and sparks the launch of my new book venture – Incidental Press, the name for any of my future solo and collaborative publications.
The book explores written and verbal language as a primary form of communication to describe our subjective experience. Language also often attempts to evoke other senses such as reading a menu and ‘tasting’ the food before we order, amounting to a vague form of synaesthesia.
However, different subjectivities mean that language is often at best an approximation, what Derrida calls Différance: ‘the notion that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever “deferred” or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers’.
A particular example of this is the subjective experience of colour. Experiencing this purely visual with no objective context, it is impossible to imagine how someone else views the same colour. As with Derrida’s Différance, colour can also be changed in relation being seen in context with other colours. Producing a decorator swatch book of blue paint samples with associated names attempts to highlight this disconnect between word and image.
Image: Louise Atkinson & Gareth Durasow, Vintage Brecht, Artist book, 2011