msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush
A field (of interconnected realities)
or, The week of mash-up goodness: Roman
5 newsprint volumes, colour,
digital print, 29cm x 38 cm
in a grey-board folio with DVD.
HD, 34'45" colour, sound.
Edition of 10.
London: msdm publications
"A project inspired by Valentine Penrose and her book Dons des Féminines (1951). This pioneering collage-poem is a re-enactment of the artist's book Une Semaine de Bonté (A Week of Goodness, 1934) by Max Ernst— the first collage-novel to explore the unconscious in the book medium —and a critique of "patriarchal hegemony" evoked in Ernst's work. Valentine's poetic depiction of female friendship, combining elements of neo-gothic and surrealist verse and collage make it into an early precedent of the 'écriture feminine' with its claim for a language of female desire and transgression. The video essay ... is a 36-minute narrative collaged with fragments of film, painting, illustration and literature relating to the female gothic. Its departure point is Dons des Féminines and the backdrop story is Valentine's travels in India in the company of Alice Rahon."
Field #1 is for the first day of the week, Sunday, and its element is The winged domino. It presents a selection of historical portraits where Valentine Penrose posed as artist’s model. It is subtitled The muse’s productive mimesis and the centrepiece is The wings of history that we consider to be a series of genealogical portraits with a disturbance of meaning.
Field #2, the day of the week is Monday and the element is Gay pulp (or the penny dreadful), mimicking Ernst and Penrose’s collage method that used cut outs from popular and alternative press. The example is Valentine and Alice become mothers, a fictional narrative that situates them in Lisbon in the 1980s, living together and trying to have a child by using a sperm donor. Vintage lesbian pulp is weaved with an intertextuality ‘a deux’ found in the writings of Valentine Penrose and Alice Rahon.
Field #3, the day of the week is Tuesday, the element is the collage-novel and the example is Dons des Féminines. Traces from Dons des Féminines are projected onto the skin, exploring the moment when the virtual page disappears into the body. It is subtitled A feminisation of meaning, and functions as a dialectical speculation on time, memory and the future of the book.
Field #4, the day of the week is Wednesday and the element is The western codex. The example is Une Semaine de Bonté. Subtitled Une mise-en-scéne of the unconscious, it juxtaposes ruins of the Victorian domestic interior found in Max Ernst’s collages with other outdated domestic and gendered elements found in vernacular press. This volume explores the tension between the original and the copy and the lack of differentiation introduced by industrial printing.
Field #5 combines the three remaining days. For Thursday, the element is The will of the work of art and this is represented with the text Ghostly edges: the uncanny and after life in Max Ernst’s collage novel Une Semaine de Bonté; For Friday, the element is Photography’s archival order and the example is The research scrapbook, a collection of visual material cut out and mounted on a four page spread. For Saturday, the element is The killing of aesthetic ideals and the example is the text Out there in the east: desire and gifts in Valentine Penrose’s collage-poem Dons des Féminines.
Available at the National Art Library: V&A Museum London. NAL is a public reference library. NAL pressmark: 809.AP.0002
Commissioned by Living Room 10 Auckland 2010, presented at ISEA 11 Istambul 2011, published for Booklive! London 2012
msdm is Mobile Strategies of Display & Mediation
a nomadic House — Studio — Gallery for photographic art
curatorial research, expanded practice of the artist's book
photobook publishing and peer - to - peer collaborations
by appointment only
please e-mail to schedule a visit
school of arts & creative industries
london south bank university