Out of ConTEXT Moby-Dick: Random Read-In

Saturday, February 23, 5-6:00pm
Lena Bartula, la Huipilista, Julian Carrillo 1, Col. Guadalupe

Out of ConTEXT Moby-Dick: Random Read-In

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is regarded as one of the greatest American novels. San Miguel artist DJ Barrett (www.djbarrettstudio.com) pays homage to this towering work with The Moby-Dick Tree, a sculptural deconstruction of the book currently on view at La Huipilista Artspace as part of the group exhibit In and Out of ConTEXT. The piece consists of individual pages of the novel rolled up and placed randomly into a chicken wire “tree.” Viewers are invited to take any page out, unroll it, read it, and replace it in the tree.

Barrett says the point of the piece is to emphasize his conviction that there is spectacular writing worthy of contemplation and appreciation on every single page of Moby-Dick. In his book Why Read Moby-Dick? , Nathaniel Philbrick wrote, “It has a voice that is the most nuanced in all of literature: at once confiding, funny and oracular⎯an outpouring of irrepressible eloquence that soars into the stratosphere even as it remains rooted to the ground.”

On Saturday, February 23, at 5:00pm, the public is invited to a participatory read-in, utilizing Barrett’s piece. Anyone who wants to can choose a page from the tree to read aloud. Barrett hopes that the random “out-of-context“ order of the reading will provide unique insight into the masterpiece, revealing the extraordinary beauty of Melville’s language. Barrett also asserts that the novel has uncanny relevance to the present day, and he hopes that it will convince anyone familiar with the novel’s reputation as a tough slog that they needn’t be daunted by it.

In and Out of ConTEXT includes book-related artwork by DJ Barrett, Glen Rogers, Leigh Hyams, Project B, Lena Bartula, and Cynthia Fusillo. This is the closing event of the exhibit at La Huipilista Artspace, Julian Carillo 1, in Colonia Guadalupe.


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