Preview screening of the expanded version of the commercial trailer with a reading as part of the exhibition languageleaps at Galeria Plan B, curated by Adriana Blidaru.
GALERIA PLAN B
Potsdamer Strasse 77-87, 2. HH
Opening: 28. August, 19 h
28th - 31st of August
An exhibition with:
John Holten, Saskia Noor Van Imhoff, Calla Henkel and Max Pitergoff, Matei Cioata, Hanne Lippard Lorenzo Sandoval, Marius Engh.
John Holten at 20 h
Hanne Lippard at 21 h
Blips: Oslo Norway, an Aside
My next novel will be called Oslo, Norway and it is the second installment in a three-part roman-fleuve called Ragnarök. When drafting this novel I began to imagine it in the hands of an unseen audience, a fictive future readership. To better enable me to do this, I decided to actively explore some of the roles I carry out in the publishing house that will facilitate the book in the world, to deepen, in a celebratory way, my role in the publishing of my own work.
Oslo, Norway is about love and the creation of fictions. And like any relationship, it wills itself to be read in a new way, to do something different: there can’t be anything hidden about how it comes into the world. No secrets. Regrets come later.
So I have conceived of four video commercials – blips – that will precede the event ofOslo, Norway. Built into the conception of these blips is the dual belief in the necessity for carving out a space for a new novel in the minds of a potential audience, as well as the acceptance of the failing status of commercial literary publishing to confidently mark out its territory. Video trailers for books made in the past for online dissemination feel like still-births in the minds of lost and slightly stunned marketing departments.
These blips are fragments of my dreams as I finish drafting my next novel, they are incantatory, vatic companions to the fictional, made-up worlds I inhabit as I edit and rewrite the novel called Oslo, Norway.
Shot on my mobile phone, they are unadorned, silent. They are expanded video commercials born to live on the Internet. They are introductions to an event yet to happen. They represent freedom, where conclusions and conceits don’t show their faces, not until a future time, in the turn of the page or the fold of a metaphor. They are intended for non-literary contexts and settings.
I no longer read in a way that is similar to how I read when I first started writing fiction and novels. I do not want to write in a way similar to how I wrote when I first started to write fiction and novels simply because I cannot: I am unable to.
As a novelist first and foremost I carry out my duties in relation to Broken Dimanche Press in a social and artistic way: I see the creation of books in the world as an artistic fiction that mirrors how the best metaphors operate, turning abstract bodies of work into real, tangible objects in the hands and minds of unseen, imagined audiences through the use of convincing, well designed, haptic similes and metaphors. It often feels that there isn’t anything approaching the entrepreneurial with regard to Independent Publishing, that if anything it feels more like a creative endeavor. The stages of publishing a book can be as artistic as the writing of the book: the ambitions remaining the same during both activities.
Lastly, these blips are introductions to fiction, they are images that house words which in turn add up to approximations of love and telling stories. Disappointing relationships, misleading advertisements? Most certainly. In the words of a man of greater imaginative power than I, they should declare: I’m going to deceive you and for that you will be grateful to me.
Blip #1 (Them): John Holten
Written / shot / edited by John Holten for Oslo, Norway, 2014.
A Broken Dimanche Press commercial video 2013
With thanks to Ashiq Jahan Khondker, Adriana Blidaru and Plan B Gallery, Berlin