Simon Amstell’s Do Nothing, read by Will Holder
Tonight, October 14, 7pm
Typographer Will Holder once read that oral tradition would lead us out of the post-modern condition, and has since become preoccupied with “publishing.” More often than not, the publications do not always take the form of ink and paper, and a large part of the preoccupation is spent in finding suitable “forms” for transmission. Holder is preoccupied with conversation as tool and model for a mutual and improvised set of publishing conditions – whereby the usual roles of commissioner, author, subject, editor, and designer are improvised and shared, as opposed to assigned and pre-determined.
Simon Amstell’s Do Nothing, is one of an ongoing series of “publications” by Will Holder, dedicated to single mothers. The piece channels the words of contemporary British comedian Simon Amstell. Previous editions have complicated Alice Notley’s Dr. Williams’ Heiresses, a conversation between Rachel Blau Duplessis and Charles Bernstein, and Adam Pendleton’s Black Dada Manifesto, in favor of an intensified reception of the gendered author positioned in them. Taking the responsibility to re-present these modernist writings, which – as a heterosexual voicing homosexual longing; or a man reading a woman’s words in relation to her body; or a British white citing a 20th century Afro-American canon; or an idiosyncratic minority finding its voice with regard to a grand narrative – “one can’t possibly say better [let alone wish to produce more] words to that effect”. The series depends on the duality of production and reproduction, him and her, publisher and author, text and body, writing and life, voice and typesetting.
Will Holder is editor of F.R.DAVID, a journal concerned with reading and writing in the arts (published by de Appel, Amsterdam, since 2006). In May 2009, he conceived and co-curated Talk Show at the ICA, London, an exhibition and season of events concerning speech and accountability. He is currently editing (together with Alex Waterman) and designing a biography of American composer Robert Ashley, for four or more voices (forthcoming, 2012); and serially publishing a rewriting of William Morris’ News from Nowhere (An epoch of rest) (1876) into a guide for design education and practice set in 2135.