After (the) Word
After (the) Word, 2013/14 / Varied edition of 3 / Archival inkjet on translucent Dobbin Mill flax & abaca papers
Size: 13.5” x 11.75” x 0.3”
After (the) Word is a book and poem deconstruction: I took phrases of Pablo Neruda’s, “The Word” (printed for the edition, Solomon’s Wisdom…2011) and rearranged it to create a new text about language and identity. These paper strips of text were sewn into the binding, printed on the page, or embedded in the translucent sheets. Because of this varied placement, the text changes its form & content, depending on the reader’s chosen sequencing. With its translucent substrate, the possibilities of textual exploration and the layering that occurs create an even greater richness of meaning. The resulting prose is a testament to the spoken word, as it ends with: I utter and I am.
I focused here on extensive text manipulation of Neruda’s powerful poem, “The Word”. To amplify the myriad of possibilities and to engage the reader in this act of alteration/creation, I used both embedded words within the translucent layers and also text on strips of paper that the reader could choose to move and read -- in their own choreography of the read. Color was removed to retain the focus on language, adding only stripes as patterning to create flow and reiterate the lines of the strips of paper.
A text created in After (the) Word:
Later on, (And) only a human without resonance (exists)
I approach Its lines The boundary, The words form, speaking, (the word)
Mouths delight me (fills the word)
Pulsing with surges blood, and (strength)
Meaning of language of words, the crystal, life (was born).
And across my mouth
(in the blood) silence. And I sail in each …words give My strength
Uttered give life to Voice
(everything was) (the word) (is and will be)
I utter and I am.