| 5th – 8th October | Free |

An exhibition of drawing, writing, and photography in response to Jean-Paul Sartre’s Words and Roland Barthes’ The Rustle of Language. 

For this project the artists of HMRCollective have taken Jean-Paul Sartre’s book Words as reading material and responded to the text in ways that seem to express reading behaviour that Roland Barthes calls ‘insolent in that it interrupts the text, and smitten in that it keeps returning to it’.

Reading has the potential to be a immersive experience, yet at other times distractions take over. External stimuli interfere with any absorption in the words and narrative. The same passage can be read over and over, as an internal dialogue takes over from the text. In The Rustle of Language Barthes explores the experience of looking up from a book while reading, as language is constructed in the mind of the reader. He writes:

Has it never happened, as you were reading a book, that you kept stopping as you read, not because you weren’t interested, but because you were: because of a flow of ideas, stimuli, associations? In a word, haven’t you ever happened to read while looking up from your book?

Here the artists read and seek to make tangible their individual reading processes as well as responding to each others work in a collective manner using techniques of collage, drawing, photography, and writing. The artists appropriate, disrupt, and dislocate the original flow of the narrative as they assemble their own material response. Each artists’ material reaction is answered and reworked by the next artist. This process pushes the meaning away from the original in a generative and speculative manner exploring both how and what ‘the reader understands’ rather than ‘what the author meant’. Here understanding represents more than just the multiple readings a text can offer. Comprehension is taken to the limits of coherence and towards the asemic. The intention is to make process visible and in doing so reveal something of the way in which meaning is sought and rejected, constructed and deconstructed, as a way of materialising thinking.

There is a related event taking place on 7th October between 6-8pm.

HMRCollective are three artists who work with text, collage, drawing and other potentially excessive processes. However, as they operate in a digitalised world they embrace the tension this creates and the impossibility of escape. They have exhibited both collectively and individually. They met while studying on the MA Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University.

Helen Frank writes art and draws words. Errs with enthusiasm. Member of the Oupeinpo and finds herself in Paris from time to time.

Madeleine Walton is a Sheffield based contemporary artist using text, textures, paint and collage. She has featured in a number of writing publications including Crux Desperationis.

Rachel Smith is currently researching a fine Art PhD at Sheffield Hallam. Her work uses drawing, photography, and writing to explore the fragmentary experience of language and communication.