James Merrick

Octavio Paz, Single Words, Left Aligned, 1957-1987

Working my way through The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz 1957-1987, edited and translated by Eliot Weinberger and published by Palladin in 1991, I decided to list all the words that Paz had chosen to align left on a line of their own through his entire body of work spanning a period of thirty years. The resultant list of around two hundred words I have turned into a digital projection where one word at a time is displayed for a few seconds before fading and being replaced by the next word, thus creating a new text. The text does not physically exist, it is merely light projected onto a surface, where it is then reflected back into the eye of the ‘reader’.

I have shown this work twice before, once in a traditional white cube gallery space and once in a church crypt (both in Bristol in 2009), and the work changes depending on the architecture it is projected onto. The text picks up additional meanings depending on the space and context in which it is viewed. Having exhibited in the Fringe before (last year I showed a sound piece called ‘A Story’ as part of the ‘In Other Words’ exhibition) I am aware of the pop-up nature of the exhibition spaces used and the interesting architectural baggage they bring to an exhibition. I feel that this can only add further dimensions to this work, transforming it again and adding more new layers of meaning.

About the Artist

Unsure as to whether I am a writer who makes art or an artist who writes, my work blurs the boundaries between literature and visual art. I have produced collage, texts, books, sound pieces, projections and ‘found narratives’. In 2009 I obtained a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the University of the West of England, Bristol, where I gained a Distinction. Since then I have self-published several book-works which are available in a number of book shops including the Book Art Book Shop in London and can be bought directly from http://www.blurb.co.uk. Some of my work is held in the collections of the Centre for Fine Print Research in Bristol, the Tate library in Tate Britain, and at University College London. In 2012 I contributed a work to the al-Mutanabbi Street project, an international touring exhibition of book artists which will eventually find a permanent home in the Iraqi National Library in 2015. And I currently have a piece in an exhibition of UK and Russian book-artists, called RUKssian, in Moscow.

To see examples of my writing please visit my blog: http://www.jamesmerrick.blogspot.co.uk
To see my books please visit: http://www.blurb.co.uk/user/JamesMerrick


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