33. DEBTOR’S PRISON. New York, NY: Granary Books, 2001. 6¾x6¾" (P)
Offset, smyth-sewn paperback. Collaboration with Julie Harrison featuring black-and-white video stills.
“Steve Clay initiated this project. I visited Julie Harrison’s work place, she spread out all the stills from her videos on the floor, and we worked at arranging them in a sequence that made sense. And then I wrote the short text that accompanied each one. The stills are on the right, the text is on the left. The relationship between photograph and text is very mysterious but it’s also very consistent. The whole is really the sum of its parts, as they say, and in this case it’s true. Everything begins to blend together in this book and every time I read it I see something different in it all. The text looks like this:
We tend to be attracted to people who look like
people we used to love
statement of intent / human ceiling
The first line, or statement, is similar to the ‘lines’ from the poems in The Origin of the World. But then there’s the commentary in italics. I always like the idea of two things happening at the same time, like the split page in Agnes & Sally. I like the idea of commentary—it was what attracted me to Spicer’s work, ‘Homage to Creeley,’ especially, where he uses the split page. Michel Foucault makes all these interesting distinctions between commentary, criticism and exegesis in The Order of Things, how one evolves into the other over the centuries. Commentary, to my mind, is the most open-ended, and allows you to spin-off, which is what I do here, using each of Julie’s stills as a place to begin. The book is dedicated to Steve Clay.”