Introduction

Translation: Everything is translatable. I consider this article not only a reply to my work but also a translation to who I am.
To those who have asked why I made so many oranges and texts in my artwork and those who are confused:
I don’t want to explain because I love you.

I am no longer an artist after I finished the artwork.
I am now one of the audience like you, trying to understand what I have been doing and who I am.
(Note: March is my English name)

 

Re: How to be with words

It was on a typical grey, overcast London Sunday in November that we met at the Spoonwether House, an incredibly remarkable local pub that benefits many intellectuals like me who are in need of alcoholic amusement from time to time but are deficient in finance. Please don’t misunderstand me that this is not the only reason that I became a regular customer of this place. If you listen carefully to what I am about to say, you may be able to understand. 

As usual, I sat down at that round trestle table in the middle of the space, surrounded by the weekend lunchtime crowds and having the backyard garden within sight, which I reckon to be the best spot in London to do some serious overhearing business. There was a big group making a racket there taking over the corner by the yard. Within the group, a young father was skilfully managing his conversational participation while pushing a pram with his single hand. Next to me on the right-hand side were an elderly couple who are sitting silently with finished plates and tea, looking aimlessly nowhere as I observed. Diagonally across them, two middle age women were passionately talking about how they couldn’t stand the tone their husbands talk with them. Two babies were crying a few tables away from me. The ping pong of glasses and crockery behind the bar is invisible but was always there. Perfect.

“You may wonder why you are reading this. Perhaps I should first justify why I am writing this to you here. I am writing this not because I have something specific to say, or potentially I do. You need not understand what I am about to say. But if you do, that will be great. In fact, ‘I’ is only a convenient term for someone who has no existence, like ‘you’ and ‘they’. By putting this at the beginning, you should be relieved from the burden of understanding so as to enjoy the process of reading, as the meaning of these words themselves are of no importance.”

I wrote.

The dazzling carpet with gold leaves on navy blue background adds to the glossiness of drinkers’ cheeks, with a fruit machine drumbeating and flashing in the corner. I am so relaxed, hearing, ignoring, in-taking, breathing, forgetting. If you are able to emphasize, it is like a journey of transcendental meditation. Their words, fragmental sentences and glints of emotions flooded freely into my mind and magically changing between forms – shapes, foreign signs, lines and colours! The most fantastic thing is the fact that they all appeared like purely non-hierarchical elements, seemingly separated from the sounds they made and the material world we live in, ready to be assembled into some sort of new syntagmatic orders by me, the observer and eavesdropper. To achieve this, you have to listen intensely not entirely to what had been said but to the murmur or current behind it. How ecstatic this is.

To accompany with the textual symphony, I picked up the menu and looked for my accustomed favourite of pea soup. The pea soup is gone. It is not on the menu anymore. I become very anxious. 

“I am looking for the pea soup that I usually have,” I called the waiter, who I believe never remembers me.

“Oh, sadly we don’t do pea soup anymore. But now we have the la-su-po-pua” he didn’t even look at me, “which is the same thing basically. Do you want that?” 

“Sorry…What did just you say?” – My world is shaking. The symphony stops suddenly and becomes overwhelming humming that I can barely stand.

“la soupe aux pois. Here.” He knocked on the line of small words on the menu.

“Now pea soup is la soupe aux pois, costing £9.25. Nothing is different, except the word. Do you believe it? … I could tell you the whole story in person. But it would have sounded different.”

I wrote.

Written on 12th March, 2018 by Enke
In reply to: March’s work on Translation and Interpretation

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