“Repeated, the same line is no longer exactly the same,
the ring no longer has exactly the same center, the origin has played.”
Jacques Derrida1

“We don’t own our words. They own us.”
Adrian Rifkin

...re-writing: incomplete modalities presents a series of textual practices and strategies by Central Saint Martins’ MRes Art: cross-pathway students. Initiated by Adrian Rifkin’s experimental writing workshops, nine students have chosen and re-written selected texts by discussing and reviewing different forms of writing out of conventional frameworks. During the process, we recognised that act of re-writing is to discover new meanings and new, shifting centres in the original texts. It forms an ‘ellipsis’ that is incomplete by virtue of the ‘eluded centre’.2 Here are our rewritings rendered impossible again in this experimental digital space with dynamic media and multiple layers.

Wing Chan’s re-writing is haunted by colonial exploitation, repression and violence. It points at the seething presence of the ghosts from the colonial past that challenge the way we know, act and feel. Responding to the avant-garde observation of the colonial past of Korea in Yi Sang’s poem, Dahye Lee experiments with its formats in her rewritings to highlight the contemporary gender conflicts in the country. Lucía Ríos extends the concept of gender by creating a montage of media reports that highlight the narrative drive behind a series of reports concerned with telling the archetypal ‘story’ of an agressor and his victim.

Following W.G Sebald, the re-writing of Hannah Duckworth reflects a melancholic existentialism in relation to memories. Her re-writing practice is possessed by buried experiences and memories. Following a similar thread of thoughts, Maria Burton’s rewriting is based on the dialogues between different artistic forms and her memories. These re-writings force figures from past, present and possible futures to weave together personal and collective memories in complex patterns.

The rewritings of Kido Nikolopoulou and Jenny Maxwell reflect on poetic artistic forms. They personalise poems and passages from different writers by simultaneously finding and hiding their contents and allusions. On the contrary, Yu Qian de-attaches himself from the context of the book by playing with the words on a page within the limits of the text.

Lastly, Cemile Zeynep Eryilmaz, re-writes the bourgeois rituals of dining, reacting against its customs and manners that formed part of her cultural upbringing in Turkey.

This project is funded by UAL and actualised thanks to Adrian Rifkin, Christopher Kul Want, MRes: Art Course Leader and Pathway Leader of the Art Theory and Philosophy and Alexander Schady, Art Programme Director at Central Saint Martins. ...re-writing: incomplete modalities is co-curated and designed by Dahye Lee and Cemile Zeynep Eryilmaz.

1. Jacques Derrida, ‘Ellipsis’, in Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 296.
2. Derrida, 371-378.
3. For Carl Jung’s agressor-victim archetype see, Dina Wardi, Memorial Candles: Children of the Holocaust (London and New York: Routledge, 2013)