On November 12, Lydia Davis gave a talk at CalArts culled from her forthcoming collection of stories, Can’t and Won’t. Davis has been recording her dreams, writing them down, and working them into fiction, then engages the inverse: writing lived experience as dream, as absurd occurrence.
“(Untitled) Bridge,” the banner image for my collection of (Un)lived/experience Commentaries, is from a series of works by visual artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and I am grateful that she allowed me to share her paintings here. “(Untitled) Bridge” and the details from “A Question on the Way to the Continent,” below, are not only emblematic of what I want to explore over the next few months, but they also inspire my thinking about processes of mediating experience, both lived and imagined. Perhaps Ogunji's work is a way to talk about instinct, or to understand the sinews of relation as psychic and material. Perhaps Ogunji's work allows us to understand cellular memory or genetic inheritance as an influence on how we dream. The grounds where we work ourselves out. Her choice of medium is deliberate: architectural tissue paper, usually discarded with preliminary sketches. With it, Ogunji insists on a delicate endurance: painted upon, drawn through, built up, kept.