My friend Joe, the writer, has started writing a piece based on Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment. He's been working with multiple English translations as well as the original Russian text. There are significant differences between the various translations and the piece he is writing explores this.
I've read the first section he has written and it's a really interesting idea. It's kind of a mixture between writing a new version of the story utilising repeated but slightly differing translated phrases. At the same time, sometimes it turns into an essay about the novel. Really fascinating work.
Anyway, Joe asked me if I could do some art work in relation to this piece. I was really excited to take up this invitation.
I started by looking at the different covers that have been used for the different translations and versions of the novel. Visually, it feels like presenting the different covers together is the equivalent of lifting sentences out of the different translations and putting them together to see whether anything new emerges. This is what I think Joe is doing with the text. So I loved putting together these collages of the various covers.
The next stage was to produce some drawings based on the covers. I have started with the text and the results are presented below.
I'm going to work with drawings of the images next. I'm not quite sure where this will end up yet but I'm really enjoying the process. When I started this blog recently I committed to use this blog to regularly document my art-making process. I haven't been doing this as much as I would like to. The problem is that there is never a convenient point to break and post the work so far. I had to resist the strong temptation to keep working with the Crime & Punishment book cover images before I made the first post. But then there would just be another next thing to do before I post!
I'll wait and see what actually comes next but I have an initial feeling that there might be a film that emerges based on these multiple images.
I feel really good about this post and the imperfections in the document of this work so far. The idea is that I would like to use the blog a bit as my sketchbook, meaning that I've given myself permission to write posts about rough, unfinished work.
I have been productive recently in terms of making progress on a number of my current art projects. Particularly, I have been doing more work on the Freeports project, which I did write about once, but I still haven't followed that up. Also, I've been working on a documentary (as an art project) about my friend, the Slovak/Brightonian artist & fashion designer Mima Chovancova. I plan to post updates on these projects soon.