Michel Delville & Elisabeth Waltregny
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Ali e t o lo ss (2017), our previous erasurist experiment, subjected Lewis Carroll’s Ali(c)e T(hr)o(ugh the) Lo(oking Gla)ss to a radical structural dismantling with a view to foregrounding some of its vital “semantic organs”. What InfrAlice attempts is less a near-total obliteration of its source text (this time Alice in Wonderland) than a foundist reframing of some of its main conceptual trajectories.
As was the case in Ali e t o lo ss, all the words are taken from a found book, the line breaks and underdashes indicating gaps in the source text. The poems in InfrAlice, however, were not hand-picked but emerge from an algorithmically randomized scanning made possible by online text shufflers.
The resulting detailist (< Latin talea, cutting) collage enters a dialogue with Elisabeth Waltregny’s blown-up fragments of original photographs responding to the peculiar narrative logic of the rescrambled textual samples. The surviving one-liners were subsequently arranged in stanzas reflecting a particular reading moment or flash of unfolding subjectivity experienced while examining the residual materiality of the erasure, in an ongoing coding and recoding of the source text’s vectors of meaning, affect and visuality.
Further fragmented, blown up, and reframed versions of the images were then arranged into a series of specular diptychs exploring the interplay of absence and presence, concealment and revelation, micro- and macro-levels, the transition from one to the other taking place in an interstitial, Duchampian infrathin kind of way.
7 Le Musée des Erreurs, ou Museum of Mistakes, depuis 2013.