Affidavit

Affidavit, 2009 / Edition of 10 / Archival inkjet, printing, notary stamps, white acrylic paint & typewriting on Dobbin Mill papers / Text by the artist

Size: 13” x 9.75” x 0.75”

From the Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collections

Affidavit describes a day in the life of an artist, spanning seven texts that have been officially notarized by different notary officers in New York City. Hungarian writer, István Örkény’s story of the same name was the fillip for this small edition. Affidavit is both a performance and artist book: the exchanges with notaries while requesting their services often segued into fascinating exchanges, which revolved around what is a signature, identity, and, the signifiers of identity. This engagement, which took place over many weeks, is described in the Compendium. This booklet lies in a compartment in the box, designed to look like office filing storage.

From Michael Joseph’s essay in the catalog for Read Me. Like A Book.:

Affidavit seems to make a general critique of the cultural authority of the book as both a source of knowledge and what epistemologists call a "warrant," or something we accept as being self-evidently true to certify that something else proposed as knowledge is indeed knowledge. … But the beauty part of philosophic skepticism is its reversibility. How can we accept that the book cannot warrant knowledge merely on the basis of a book?

 

Additional thoughts:

The compendium documents the responses I received from the notaries when I asked for their services.  The many discussions we had focused on the book’s theme: what is the meaning of identity and its signifiers – specifically the signature. It is a different kind of meta-information but a fascinating one, when the research or response component is incorporated into the larger work.