This action emerged as part of a residency at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, as an outgrowth of my artistic research into the dispersed postcard collection of French artist and author Hervé Guibert. The project, working-titled Et si je m’en vais avant toi, takes as its material starting point an encounter I had with Guibert’s private library, and the history of the postcards that appear in Guibert’s 1987 photograph Ma Bibliothèque.
My residency involved the design and production of five postcards, each printed as an edition of 100. Each postcard traces a different relationship to the visual and affective worlds of Guibert’s life, writing, photography, and his own postcard collection, while being simultaneously shaped by experiences during my sojourn in Madrid. The presence of a postcard of Diego Velázquez’s 1632 painting Cristo crucificado in Guibert’s collection served as a kind of conceptual punctum for my artistic research.
Images used for the series of postcards produced for the action include a self-portrait by Alfonso Ponce de León, diaristic photos from my personal archive, a video still by Andrés Senra, and a notated page from a book by Vinciane Desprets.
As a concluding gesture to my residency, a research action was staged in the Sala de Protocolo Sabatini at the Museo Reina Sofía. I shared the evolution of my project with a group of local artists, curators, and researchers.
I charted the progress of my efforts to reconstruct Hervé Guibert's dispersed postcard collection, and presented the edition of five postcards.
Guests were invited to participate in my research through elaboration. The series of postcards was distributed to each attendee, who was asked to circulate them by sending them out into the world.
Participants were invited to write to someone they knew, or someone they did not know. Someone living, or someone dead. Someone they had lost, someone who had lost them. Or they could let the images live in the visual culture of their homes or libraries or other personal spaces. Or to let the postcards live or circulate in some other way.