intervention in a publication
Point of Contact, No 1-2 Vol. 10, pages 51-57
Syracuse University Press
A series of pages with photographic traces/marks intervened the bilingual edition of Point of Contact dedicated to the life and verse of the Argentine poet, Alejandra Pizarnik, a leading feminine voice in contemporary Latin American letters. Based on a series of letters from Alejandra, all unpublished until now, the book approaches Pizarnik’s poetry through an intimate dialogue and a series of critical and visual texts.
The intervention consists of a series of black blotches, with the white pages of the book serving as their background. These out-of-focus marks, both systematic and organic, transform and extend suggesting unreadable and uncertain visual information that is nevertheless patently present. Their structure, sequencing, rhythm and visual cadence call attention to the relationship of these non-textual elements to the written word. I wanted to confront the reader with blurry marks that cannot be read and question their presence.
Even though my desire was not to be illustrative, these marks could be read as ink blots or a series of codes. Within the context of Alejandra Pizarnik’s work the marks could be read as shadows, blood drops or stains, holes or hollows, scars or scabs, among others. They could suggest silence and absence, even though they are not silent nor absent. Indeed, the absent voice is very present and echoed in these marks. It is noise, beyond words. Perhaps pointing to the impossibility of expressing oneself fully through words. Or perhaps, because the noise on these pages is able to reach a non-verbal space, that is to be experienced rather than understood.
The five pages are meant to be perceived as an unstable and dislocated space, and produce a sense of impaired vision. I am interested in that moment when the awareness of our own physicality juxtaposes that of the intangible (something that reminds me of Alejandra’s poems). The marks on the page offer us a fleeting moment, one that aims to question the act of looking and that of perceiving, hoping to produce a visceral response. The intimacy of the book format adds to this experience, as we struggle to deal with the shift in scale from the previously read text in the preceding pages, to the large unreadable blotchy marks.