A text written by several people could be called a piece of collective writing. In August, nine visual artists get together for three days to write collectively in the Town Square in Ekenäs.
The project is titled Replay.
Replay is a sketch in words and a textual observation of the Town Square in Ekenäs written in five languages.
At midday on Friday, 18 August 2017, Pia Sandström, Ulrika Gomm, Behzad Khosravi Noori, Moa Franzén, Joanne Lee, Minna Heikinaho, Hami Bahadori, Jaime Mena de Torres and Lena Séraphin will read the co-written text in Rådhustorget in Ekenäs.
Replay is inspired by the French author Georges Perec and his experimental book Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu parisien or An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris from 1975. Perec observed the Place Saint-Sulpice by making an index of what he observed. He tried to take note of trivial details and to see what takes place when nothing special is going on.
Perec makes a note of the date, time of day, location (a certain café, a certain bench) and the weather. He then goes on to write a list of what occurs within his field of vision. By returning on three successive days, Perec himself was gradually transformed into one of the recurring figures in the square. His writing work in turn successively transformed what he observed; the square became a text and a kind of index of public space. What does such a system of notation propose? Besides all the random activities that happen on Place Saint Sulpice, all the insignificant things that find their own place on the list, the text gives rise to a poetic mutability.
Replay is an attempt to observe and uncover connections. The participating artists write together, conscious of the others who are writing, too, and of the fact that they themselves are in someone else’s field of view. They note down what goes on in the square, but also record themselves in that square, their movements, behaviour and discoveries. All of this becomes a shared register of time and space that has no need of explanation or conclusion.
The visual artist Lena Séraphin creates the concept for Replay and the project will be further elaborated as part of her post-doctoral research at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm during autumn 2017. Séraphin gained her Master’s degree from Goldsmiths, University of London in 1997 and her Doctorate from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2017. Read more about her artistic practice at lenaseraphin.com or contact her by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Replay is being edited into a multilingual book to be published by Pro Artibus Foundation during the Bokkalaset Literary Festival in Ekenäs in November.
Replay is produced by Pro Artibus Foundation, with support from Nordic Culture Point and the Spanish Embassy in Helsinki.