Reading the Remove of Literature
Nick Thurston is an artist living and working in Leeds. After collaborating on text-based artworks, this new publication is Nick’s first solo bookwork.
Nick has annotated and then appropriated a copy of Maurice Blanchot’s seminal book The Space of Literature. He has erased all of Blanchot’s words and re-set his own marginalia (at once poetic and philosophical) in the fonts and face of Blanchot’s edition, presenting a reading and the very possibility of reading: it litters the page and continues beyond the edges, forming as it does a piece of conceptual literature as an artist’s book, whose meanings are kept open by a tension with that which is removed and yet ever-present.
“Reading the Remove of Literature is an edition of Maurice Blanchot’s L’Espace littéraire, although not a word of Blanchot’s text remains. Every page of his book has been assiduously erased by Nick Thurston. At the same time, Thurston has preserved his own marginalia, reset in the face and fonts of the original text…By removing Blanchot’s text, Thurston paradoxically gives us Blanchot’s work; he presents rather than absents language. Reading the Remove of Literature takes its place in a small but remarkable group of artists’ books that purport to present footnotes to absent texts, offering largely blank pages and notes keyed to empty space. But the central texts which those books claim to annotate are almost always fictional; Reading the Remove of Literature distinguishes itself — point de source — by removing an actual text. In this respect, the closest analogue to Thurston’s book may be Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing.” – Craig Dworkin, editor