Agnieszka Kurant – DD on AK

The idea of fiction plays a central role in the work of Agnieszka Kurant, and here is a little booklet with an essay by Diedrich Diederichsen that talks about fiction, the fabrication of ghosts. In it, Diederichsen describes the relation of fiction and reality in Kurant’s work like this: “it is a second creator of reality, an illegitimate or repudiated sister of the demiurge, not grounded in reality but capable of influencing and altering it. For Agnieszka Kurant, fiction always has reality effects.”

When we first read that text, it was still in the original German that Diedrich wrote, and finally realising that the publication would of course only be in English, we felt that the German text, while not fictional, was such a repudiated sister of the later de-facto reality as well. In conversation with curator Maaike Lauwaert, we decided to resurrect it, and to place it back into reality.

Initially we considered different types of ghosting (in short, it’s a class of printing mistakes where a ghost image of another part of the printed paper appears in the wrong place), but taking into account the writer’ process of re-formulating and re-reformulating an idea, we found the palimpsest a more convincing image:

We imagined a book where the previous German text had been printed and then erased – but not 100% erased – before overprinted with the English translation.

Because of this whole concept of de- and re-materialisation, we hid a pair of Google Books hands on the covers of the book, under the dust jacket: The scanner operators’ hands are the true ghosts in the massive dematerialised book machine. (Credit goes to the wonderful blog The Art of Google Books for introducing us to these images).

For Stroom Den Haag, The Hague, 2013.
32pp., 11×17 cm.