Proposing that visual, tactile, and written texts are all translations of a type, the piece The Odyssey, is comprised of Braille dots appended to the wall (a reference to the author Homer, purported to be blind). Transforming the wall into a page of a book, the first sentence of Rieu’s translation of The Odyssey is quoted: “all of the survivors of the war had reached their homes by now and so put the perils of battle and the sea behind them.” Upon reading the piece more closely, the Braille dots reveal their composition: used paperback editions of the Odyssey and Iliad punched through to three millimetres thickness, the residue of underlining, colouration and marginalia remaining in the altered sections. The reconfiguration of the original Penguin Classics edition, rendered unreadable in its former state, is analogous with the transformation of books, made accessible only through another means of sign: Braille. Considering that Homer’s works in Greek were actually performed before an audience, even the shift of the words to a written, and more intimate, format, proposes that with each new alteration of texts, there is both loss and advancement.
hole-punched, discarded paperbacks, varnish, size variable, 2007
section on wall
detail of Braille