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.
Postcards images have been offered to the project from twenty-two countries, from California to Queensland via Kathmandu.
A slideshow featuring Postcards for Perec was shown as part of the ‘The Lost Weekend’ Bristol Artists Book Event 2021, and the project featured in the Bulletin No. 78 of the Association Georges Perec.
UWE Bower Ashton Library hosted the first exhibition, and the cards are currently on display in the Winchester School of Art library, until 11th November. Please check their website for current hours and conditions.
Cropped images of the postcards are shown on Instagram, @postcards-for-perec.