Two Hundred and Forty-three Postcards in Real Colour.
Georges Perec’s postcard messages, dedicated to his friend Italo Calvino, appeared as a long list, with not a single image. Written in 1978, they were translated into English by John Sturrock in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, in 1997.
Constructed with mathematical precision, they describe hedonistic vacations that we can only dream about. Perec’s holiday-makers travel through alphabets, relaxing and sunbathing, making historic and literary connections on the way, with no mention of the journeys nor the bills. The messages seem a little repetitive and formulaic, but as both the men were members of OuLiPo, that is perhaps hardly surprising. The first clue to unravelling the secrets is to ask why 243? Our aim was to respond to this work as artists by making a postcard, adding the missing image to the message, and then posting the physical postcard.
We will exhibit the postcards at UWE Bower Ashton library in July and August, and find other ways to share them.
Postcards images have been offered to the project from twenty-two countries, from Russia to the USA, Finland to the Isle of Wight.
We have joined the Republic of Postcards, and take part in this post-modernist Grand Tour while we are staying at home.
The postcards are being shown on Instagram, @postcards-for-perec. I hope the cropped image snippets will give a full flavour of the project whilst keeping whole postcard image under wraps until our exhibition and catalogue.
A slideshow featuring Postcards for Perec has been accepted to be shown as part of the Bristol Artists Book Event, and will be released on 16th April.