Yvonne Buskie (Scotland, UK) Artists’ Union Exhibition. V.Samadova Art Gallery. Khagani str., 19, Baku 14-18 th December 2009
Prophecy For the 4th International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Yvonne Buskie has created a large drawing which shows the working process of an ‘obsessive literary archaeologist’. Her fixation is to search within an existing prophetic text for future proclamations. As her reference point Buskie has used the novel 1984 by George Orwell. She surmises that potential prophecies are to be located within Orwell’s text and that these can be unlocked by using the word constraint techniques associated with the French OuLiPo group. (Ouvroir de littératurepotentielle, which roughly translates as the workshop of potential literature). Aesthetically the work resembles a palimpsest, where the history of the document is visible between the layers. As part of the drawing, Buskie has devised a composite game of chess and darts. Each square of the chess-d-art board contains a number ranging from 1-384. These numbers correspond to the pages, lines and words from the novel. The words of the prophecies are identified by throwing three darts at the board. The first dart-Black- identifies the page number where the search begins. The second dart-Blue- identifies the line number and the third dart-White-identifies the word. Once the word is identified, it is recorded along side its reference number and the word in the novel is deleted. As part of the exhibition the audience are invited to play the chess-d’art game thus becoming an active partner in the search for the prophecies. The methodology used by the artist resembles that of the protagonist Winston in 1984, whose daily tasks consists of counting, deleting and re-writing. The repetitive sound-scape that accompanies the drawing is in keeping with the multi layered theme of the drawing and evokes feelings of a discordant mantra. In comparison to the large drawing are eleven small prints. The tiny font draws the audience into close proximity with the work. The text publicizes the potential prophecies. Both the line formation and the cryptic messages of these prophecies are reminiscent of the proclamations of Nostradamus. Therefore, 'meaning' , can only become understood after the events they predict have come to pass.