Preamble by Rebecca Jagoe & Sharon Kivland
VIOLENCE IS IN LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE IS LANGUAGE. The violence of language stratifies voices into those that matter and those that do not, using ideas of appropriate form and structure as its weaponry. It claims propriety and politeness are the correct mode of address, when urgency and anger are what is needed. Where languages intersect, hierarchies of language become means for domination and colonization, for othering, suppression, negation, and obliteration. The demand for a correctness of grammar, the refusal to see what is seen as incorrect, the dismissal of vernacular in favour of the homogenised tongue: all are violent. The narrative of history is a narrative of violence. The contributions herein refuse this narrative. They explore how violence permeates and performs in language, how language may be seized, taken back to be used against the overwhelming force of structural and institutional violence that passes as acceptable or normal. Violence may be a force for rupture, for refusal, for dissent, for the herstories that refuse to cohere into a dominant narrative.
i am paradise. i am hell.
I have no ambition. I have one ambition.
I want to steal fire. I want to use my private, basic language on you. I want to catharsis all over your beautiful, beloved face. You organised this violence. I want to fuck you like an animal. I want to macerate you, absorb and metabolise you. I want to make you cry.
Like a miracle. In the miracle I was real and I came out from the miraculous underworld with miraculous x-ray eyes with which to see.
Are you receiving my open eye signal? Tell me the ending, I want to be told.
I will not be a woman any longer.
John Kramer grabbed my arm running up the terrazzo stairway between biology and history and pushed his knee between my thighs and said: ‘Girls like you get into trouble’.
Pushing through history, through biology to create a vector to spin completely out of control on, a gash for us to lull complacently, to luxuriate in a basin of unendingly replenished absorbing viscera at its bottom.
A point of reference, a coordinate for a base meta-level algorithm that will both determine the excavation site for genomic data and inform the enactment conditions for the Algealux II. They are a sophisticated non-monotonic logic, therapeutic AI that self-generates empathy faculties from simulating both typical and exceptional trauma narratives.
Daytime, there was a sincerity there at some point, behind the curve of the station wall there is a common shrub with small yellow and pink flowers that smell of piss when you crush them between my squeezed sweaty fingers after I gave you and your little brother unfairly negotiated, monotone blowjobs, it meant nothing to me, I performed under pressure, to me, your organs were dismembered, Frankensteinian, bleeding, dying, brutes.
In space there is no up and down. I will not use your language again. Say something. Sometimes I hate myself.
In the topological excitatory simulation process, the subject gets up, runs, falls to the floor, crashing heavily into the wooden door which erupts into a starburst of splinters, then she gets up and performs this sequence repeatedly, getting more and more disfigured, more and more bloody, pulpy and unidentifiable. It is you my love, you who are the stranger. It is she my love, she who is the stranger.
A purple Ohm printed on a tiny square of paper, in the velvet cradle of night, in a borrowed car, candy wrappers twirled and a baroque vision on the passenger seat, we marvelled mutely at the conquest. Evaporating bone and the flesh ladder, slapping sounds erupted and the sharpness of this unwanted experience.
From the car window, hurt fell away from us quickly with the speed and lightness of carried horizons as we travelled in a neon-hieroglyphic encryption towards the namelessness of psychedelic emancipation.
Then in the erupting patterns, I saw the beasts of the higher order, I saw suspended seraphim coming towards me on acid.
On fire, neon six winged and wild-eyed, burning up from the knowledge of their distance from absolute divinity. You and I held hands hyper-textual on the bare mattress, both of us wearing jackets and black Nikes, portal to portal. And you rained fractals through me.
Our terrestrial, material, bodies spat briefly into the spray of infinite celestial bodies, our mortal bodies are capable of love and the pain of losing love, losing dignity, being humiliated, destroyed, which is where we reached our sudden and speechless end, where perishable, banal bodies and incomprehensible, divine bodies extraordinarily touch in an immutable embrace, a long kiss, deoxygenated and marine, dispelled and star-like, they coalesce in the uniformity of a space-time weave without imposed linearities that can only ever momentarily appease the anxious observance of this limited sentience of this sack of skin full of gore bodies that we love so much, and lose much in.
The stump dully ruptures the lobe of the necromancer’s organ disclosing albuminous encrypted futures in the deep maroon of its viscid surface. At dusk, somnolent haemorrhage, the stump disengages, pulls away from this endless endeavour, resets procedures and restores protocols.
Tell me the ending, I want to be told.
At the close of day, lonesome satellites spin dutifully in the melancholy spectacle of a puce sky yielding to indigo.
I listen to a ‘Future Sound of London’ track in my room at twilight and it was so beautiful I wanted to die to never be less in awe than I was then, yes I was truly thankful for being alive.
This made here, this made now and a capacity to hurt and feel pain that severs us from the tonal elusiveness of the everyday, and thrusts us high into the light of a covert eternal knowledge of interdependency.
Night-time: When you returned late that night I couldn’t reach to open the door, I was pinned down by your unspooling duplicity and entangled in an inability to believe it.
Floor-ridden, squirming salty slug in a pale moonlit cup of interminable pain till dawn when again from behind the holographic vision field the smoothly mechanised stump came forth and pushed cold, tentacular, crawling titanium burrows into the skin, circular blades removing perfect spheres of fractal flesh, falling away in a shower of confetti.
Mining into the atrophied meat to scrape out a hole of similar shape to the stump but smaller, tight enough to assure the penetration of the stump is effortful and insufferable, causes as much damage and pain as possible, stretched massacre, aching flesh. A delicate balance is sustained between accelerated regeneration and its subsequent destruction to ensure any sense of respite or recovery or end is inconceivable and subjectivity is suspended in perpetual dispersal.
Night time: You hold me gently by my full and gushing, convulsive cunt, vagina, pussy, sex organ that softly murmurs directly to you that I came straight from creation, from the primordial ocean, a long, long time ago, slippery, smooth skin then legs forming from fins, emerging slowly from water onto land, across vast tundra and time to this bed where this hand holds me now. You were so wet too and when we came, when we squirted, when we vanished, and feral moaned and upon our return I had a vision:
The golden promise of the west
The Idol of language
It was the end of the world dragging me forward by my wrists
How could I resist
I couldn’t resist
I had a vision that I was neither master nor slave.
Edited by Rebecca Jagoe & Sharon Kivland
MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE 2018
Tai Shani’s multidisciplinary practice, comprising performance, film, photography, and installation, revolves around experimental narrative texts. These alternate between familiar narrative tropes and structures and theoretical prose to explore the construction of subjectivity, excess and affect and the epic as the ground for a post-patriarchal realism. Her on-going project Dark Continent Productionsproposes an allegorical city of women, an experimental and expanded adaptation of Christine de Pizan’s 1405 pioneering feminist book, The Book of the City of Ladiesin which Pizan builds an allegorical city for notable women drawn from a medieval conception of history, where fact, fiction, and myth are blurred. This non-hierarchical approach also determines the construction of the characters and narrative of Dark Continent. Shani has presented her work extensively in the UK and abroad.
TRAVIS ALABANZA, KATHERINE ANGEL, SKYE ARUNDHATI-THOMAS, MIEKE BAL, JANANI BALASUBRAMANIAN, ELENA BAJO, JORDAN BASEMAN, EMMA BOLLAND, PAVEL BÜCHLER, PAUL BUCK, KIRSTEN COOKE, JIH-FEI CHENG, JOHN CUNNINGHAM, ANDY FISHER, CASPAR HEINEMANN, JAKOB KOLDING, CANDICE LIN, RUDY LOEWE, NICK MWALUKO, VANESSA PLACE, KATHARINA POOS, TAI SHANI, LINDA STUPART, BENJAMIN SWAIM, JONATHAN TRAYNER JALA WAHID, ISOBEL WOHL, SARAH WOOD