LIFE A USER’S MANUAL ART AND WRITING

 

a pair of life a users's manual

I was in Sheffield a couple of months ago when they where setting up this exhibition which takes its title from the book so i m going to review the book and connect it to what i saw in the exhibition .the book follows a painter as he takes a tour of a french apartment through the rooms every item is detailed the people who live there are described ,the idea came from the knight’s tour of a chessboard where it is possible to move a knight and touch every square on the board Perec was known for his clever word play and one of the leading lights of modernist writings .along the tour we meet a mirade of characters of all ages and classes ,Bartlebooth and Moreau having two of the biggest apartments in the building ,Bartlebooth is aged and has a team of servants .We even see the inner workings of the building  the lifts and stairs .Perec gives wonderful descriptions of the object in the apartments such as book paintings and postcards we also learn a little bit of history about some of these objects  and this is one of the first connections i can make to the exhibition –

susan hiller

 

This is a collection of 305 postcards from unknown artist brought together by Susan Hiller ,the postcards all deal with high tides and waves crashing into seaside towns round the uk .one of the themes in the objects in the book is detectives plays books about them and suppose the book itself is like a giant investigation . The book also interconnects the characters past and present it ends up like being a fragile spiders web of connections and it is not til the end of it you see the full picture .there was also a series of paintings connected like the book –

This work is called spirit of Uhyst by Katerina Seda it follows a piece of paper as it was passed round a small german village ,copied each time after you see the finished work develop a bit like the book you don’t see the full picture until the end .I enjoyed this book so much it is very different to anything else and could be the springboard to so many other spin of stories .it reminded me of a 3D chess game i once played engrossing and challenging but in the end deeply rewarding .

katerina seda

Madame Moreau hated Paris

In 1940 after her husband’s death ,she took over the factory .It was a very small family business which he had inherited after the 1914-18 war which he’d run in relaxed prosperity with three cheerful woodworkers at his side whilst she kept the books in a big black -cloth-bound registers with ruled paper and pages she had numbered in violet ink …..

finding out about madame moreau  .

a must read book that’s my reccomendation a book that i will reread a few times over the years .

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amymckie
    May 05, 2010 @ 11:05:52

    Sounds like some interesting books. They all have a similar theme of connectedness don’t they. Just wanted to say also that I don’t seem to be able to see the the pictures any more? I’m not sure if it is my browser or what but wanted to pass that along just in case!

    Reply

    • winstonsdad
      May 05, 2010 @ 16:37:55

      sorry amy don’t know what happened there have edit and added thumbnails seems to work now ,thanks stu

      Reply

  2. kiss a cloud
    May 12, 2010 @ 21:08:33

    So glad you to hear you enjoyed the book, too! Thanks for sharing the postcards and the artwork.. they coincide so well with the book!

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Skylight by José Saramago | Winstonsdad's Blog

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