THE BIBLE - 2717 OBJECTS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE 2002
Emma Kay (1961 – )
- 243 X 170 CM
- DIGITAL PRINT
- Accession number
Allegorical readings of still life stress the use of image as signifier, its performative function to represent the verbal message. In Emma Kay’s ‘The Bible – 2717 Objects in Order of Appearance’ exactly the reverse is the case. This completely monotone list of words triggers a visualisation of objects that appear in the narrative of the bible texts, the foodstuff and everyday items in common usage over two thousand years ago. The printed arrangement of text, which mimics the layout on the printed page, is difficult to digest in its entirety but a reading of sample sections conjures scenes and narratives from the collective memory of the bible’s authorship. Kay has made memory the focus of her work. She has compiled text compositions re-relating the content of the bible and the works of Shakespeare, the history of the world and of speculations on its future, all from personal memory without direct recourse to original or reference material. Her approach shares a resemblance to text-based Conceptual art of the sixties and seventies or the appropriation of the methods of taxonomy that has been evident in much recent work. By singling out objects to represent the essence of her subject matter she also gives new form to an impulse of considerable duration in art.
Still Life, British Council 2000