Media: screenprint and pastel on paper
In I, the single unit of an 'I' has been repeated, enlarged, and distorted through a photocopier to produce a whole that blurs the boundary between word and image, text and texture. As a verbal message the work carries ambiguous meanings. The 'I' can be understood as a numerical cipher, that is, as ‘number one’, or it can be understood as a linguistic sign, referring to a unique, singular individual: a speaking subject, an author. The two meanings are interconnected in the sense that the Classical notion of ‘the individual’ is defined by singularity and ‘in-divisibility’, that is, by the stability of oneness.
However, in this piece, the singularity of the 'I' is compromised by being endlessly repeated. Moreover, on top of this verbal ‘nonsense’ of printed matter, the artist has scribbled a lengthy dictionary definition of 'I'. Although the hand-written text is a testimony to the individual gesture of the ‘subject’, it is almost as unintelligible and obscure as the printed 'text blur', and offers only a cursory and abstract reference to subjectivity. In contrast to this dense textual material, the artist has inserted intimate diary extracts, written in the first person by a mother who has just given birth to a child. Defying oneness, the mother is a being defined by her very ability to reproduce and divide, that is, by her ‘dividuality’ as opposed to her individuality. Countering also the objectivity and abstraction of theory, it emphasises a moment of lived subjectivity and of interdependence between two individuals rather than the individuality of the ‘I’.