In Which Elena Reads a Book

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It’s like nailing smoke to the floor…

I’m playing with whatever takes my fancy each time I go into the studio, then clear the decks, wipe down the table, to leave it clean and empty for me to start again next time I open the door.

The things on the wall have changed at a rate of once a week.

In an attempt to clarify, I have started reading. Don’t panic. I’m not going to start quoting arty bollocks, that’s not my style. Regular readers will know I’m more likely to quote Marge Simpson, or Guy Garvey, than Baudrillard and Deleuze (or Hall and Eco). The fact I even know these names disturbs me very slightly…

But sometimes, someone else’s point of view can be a useful way to start grasping the smoke, if not quite enabling you to nail it down.

So, I turn to semiotics. Again, my discovery of semiotics happened years ago, not through academic means, but the radio 4 dramatisations of Baldi…

The signifier and the signified.

The apron is the signifier.

The knitted vest is the signifier.

The chair is the signifier.

My problem seems to be in deciding what I am trying to signify, whilst keeping it ambiguous enough to leave open the possibility that it might signify something different to someone else.

So, I dip into Eco’s “The Open Work”, and Sean Hall’s “This Means This, This Means That: A User’s Guide to Semiotics”. When I say dip, I mean it. I cannot sustain such reading. I literally flip the pages, read a bit, if it holds me, I carry on, if it doesn’t, I flip again. I’m sure this would be frowned upon by people who do it “properly”. For me though it is not about their brains, but mine. A need to jump start a train of though within my own work, not getting bogged down in theirs.

I begin my own game of word association, song singing, poetry reading, writing and drawing.

This is where I start the digging.

I’ll let you know if I find something.

But then again, I might get distracted by Modern Family and forget.

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