– Autumn/Winter 2001

This Evening, Cerith

Andreas Spiegl

Cerith Wyn Evans, 02.09.00, Installation shot, Galerie Neu, Berlin. Courtesy the artist and White Cube, London.

Cerith Wyn Evans, 02.09.00, Installation shot, Galerie Neu, Berlin. Courtesy the artist and White Cube, London.

I think that for me writing books is like reporting on a journey, trying to conjure up the places one has travelled through. You can go there yet still not recognise the places from my description. Others may describe them too but that won't mean they are the same places. Anyone who finds the same places inside him or herself will render my description useless. My real ambition is to find the right kind of accomplices with which to people these places. If ever I were to feel for certain that these places exist in their own right, I would immediately stop writing. For that would mean my friends and I were the inhabitants of that region: we would practice its customs.1

There are two reasons for deciding to begin these marginalia on Cerith Wyn Evans's work with a quote from Pierre Klossowski: the first is about following a trail that the artist has himself laid in his work. In answer to a question about his favourite unrealised project, Wyn Evans once replied: 'High up above the city, in amongst the countless lights, I would like to put flashing lights (like the ones on airplanes) on the highest building. These would then transmit Pierre Klossowski's novel Le Baphomet into the night in Morse code.'2 The second reason is that, structurally, this approach matches a method which seems to be characteristic of Cerith Wyn Evans's own work: the citing of fragments, not as independent particles torn from their original context in order to be incorporated into a new one, but on the contrary, as the smallest possible reference

  1. Pierre Klossowski, 'Protase et apodose', L'Arc, no.43, 1970

  2. Cerith Wyn Evans, in EVN-Sammlung, Ankäufe 1997-1999 (exh. cat.), EVN AG Maria Enzersdorf, p.40

  3. P. Klossowski, op. cit.

  4. Walter Benjamin, 'The Task of the Translator', Illuminations, London: Fontana, 1992, pp.70-82

  5. P. Klossowski, op. cit.

  6. Sigmund Freud, 'The Uncanny', Art and Literature, The Penguin Freud, vol.14, London: Penguin, 1997

  7. Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-Analysis, London: Fontana, 1991, p.106

  8. Kaja Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983

  9. Jacques-Alain Miller, 'Suture (elements of the logic of the signifier)', as cited in Kaja Silverman, op. cit.

  10. K. Silverman, op. cit.

  11. P. Klossowski, op. cit., p.23

  12. Ibid., p.22

  13. Ibid., p.23

  14. Ibid., p.22

  15. C. Wyn Evans, op. cit.

  16. As noted in the press release for the exhibition by Cerith Wyn Evans in the Galerie Georg Kargl in Vienna, 22 March-30 April 2001

  17. J. Lacan, op. cit.

  18. P. Klossowski, op. cit., p.20