I am Writing to You From a Far-Off Country: Experiencing Henri Michaux (2000).
Digital images, laserprinted text, pen, ink and gold paint on paper, custom perspex cover. Unique, Canberra: Editioning & Artists Book Studio, NITA, 2000.
Sorry, this is the only formal image I have of the boxed set!
Made during my visual art degree, when I was having a major crush on the writings of Henri Michaux. This is a work about translation. Henri Michaux was French, but there are debates on how French his French was, as he played merry hell with the rules. This set of writings is arranged as one side of a correspondence, and I extended this to include my own explorations into the text.
I made three sets of postcards, and they are all included below. They are housed in a custom-made perspex case.
The first set has on one side (the ‘text’ side of a traditional postcard) the official, published translated text. On the other side of each is a collage image inspired by the text.
The second set has on one side the original French; I don’t speak or read French, so I’ve picked out the words that make visual sense as an English speaker and highlighted them. The other side has an English translation of the French, generated by Babelfish, an internet translation program. It’s a weird machine translation, very literal and sometimes completely missing the point.
The third set is highly personal. The images are drawn using ink, gouache and gold paint and then partially erased. The text is hand-written, using my own experiences, and echoing Michaux’s text without imitating it. These were written in 2000, four years before I thought about blogging — but you can see why I took to blogging so happily.
There are 12 pieces of writing in ‘I am writing to you from a far-off country’. I have arranged all the postcards into twelve sections, so that you can see the sets in the way they were meant to be viewed. The first set is below. If you like them and wish to read them all, they are divided over three more blog posts: II-IV, V-VIII, IX-XII.