On Mirtha Dermisache

Angela Woodward at The Quarterly Conversation:

Argentinian artist Mirtha Dermisache produced “a voluminous body of illegible writings.” This phrase from the editors’ brief afterward is in itself so evocative I can hardly go further, that body light and aloft, setting sail on an invisible current of the thoughts beneath words, the feelings beneath skin.

She preferred “publication and distribution” rather than exhibition, seeing her work as books, as stories, as newspaper pages that could be read intently and then set to other uses, the mopping of wet basements, the stuffing of shoes by the destitute in cold weather.

Dermisache invited her audience “to sit and manipulate the printed matter” in a process that was so open that anyone could make anything of the lines, the words, the pages. A total freedom of interpretation, where a series of tiny open boxes could mean bread, could mean windows, could mean the exhaustion of a typist’s fingers after a long day producing legal documents. Her text-like pages lean towards meaning, as evocative of intelligence as the lines chewed by beetles beneath tree bark.

more here.