Haiku de Nuit

Haiku de Nuit, 2015 / In collaboration with Carole Naggar / Varied edition of 5 / Archival inkjet on watermarked Dobbin Mill papers

Size: 11.75” x 6.75” x 0.5”

I responded to Carole Naggar’s poem about her mother’s absence & illness by focusing on the haptic experience of reading. The poem is presented first in French, its original language, and then in English. As the stanzas of the poem mourn the loss of her parent, the ink fades. Words are displayed only on these two double-page spreads, which are separated by the central signature, dark papers with jagged holes. The remaining pages dominate the choreography of the read, expressing emptiness and silence through their color, texture, and sound.  


About the poet: 

Carole Naggar is a poet, photography historian, and painter. Among her poetry books are En Blanc (1974), Night Light (1979) Corps (1980), Ukiyo-e (2005) and Voyage à Kyoto (2015). Her poem "night Haiku" was written in honor of her mother, Denise Naggar, who suffered from Alzheimer's since 2003. It deals with feelings of loss and mourning. 

Carole and I have known each other for more than 30 years; this was our first artistic collaboration.

From Paul Van Capelleveen’s essay in the catalog Read Me. Like a Book:

Material has always played a supporting role. It is also a carrier of meaning. In Haiku de Nuit (2015), for instance, the four pages with poems about a mother with Alzheimer’s are surrounded by a much larger number of blank pages (24) that radiate emptiness and silence. But the paper is not really blank. The rough surface, inviting the reader to feel it, has embedded dark fibers or human hair, there are spots of color from gray to purple, the paper contains jagged holes and dark watermarks. The order of the paper suggests a journey from outside to inside―from the hair to the scalp, and then to the layers of the brain―contact similar to a medical scan.