Impulsive Incantations

The migraine patient lives a nomadic life. In an almost ritualistic way she trudges between two worlds – a ceremonial procession that goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Health unavoidably induces sickness and only sickness will lead her back to health. She oscillates, fluctuates, pendulates and is therefore fated to live in constant adaptation to an ever-changing state of wellbeing.… Read More

Is it lovely yet?

in the archives of Christine Brooke-Rose, Anna Kavan, Ann Quin and Muriel Spark 1. It is the summer of 2014 and I’m at the Olin Library at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. I am researching three novelists for my PhD. One of them, Ann Quin, doesn’t have her own archive. I locate papers of hers, scattered around, in the archives of ex-lovers, friends, her publisher’s, in a Carmelite Friary near London. Here in the Olin Library I find a … Read More

Dystopian Optimism

posted in: Research | 0

Our future imagination suffers from an impasse between technological optimism and dystopian visions of the end of humankind. ‘Dystopian Optimism’ counters globally interconnected precariousness as the condition of our time. It recognizes dystopia as a societal reality and proposes to complement it with optimism: a fiction that enables one to project a different future on oneself or the world. Embedded in the fields of contemporary audiovisual arts and art history, Dystopian Optimism functions as a compass to navigate an iconological … Read More

The Suitcase

posted in: visual poetry | 0

Made of brown leather, monogrammed with the initials L.J.M. and dating from the 1930s, the suitcase was found under the bed of Muriel Leyson at the time of her death in Johannesburg in the 1970s. Tightly packed inside were almost a thousand letters spanning a period of ninety years. Muriel Leyson had been a surrogate mother to my father, stepping in to care for him at vulnerable moments in his life. As she and her two sisters became frail in … Read More