Unbound is a work of drawings and poetry in preparation for an installation. The cut-up poetry (see below) of Unbound is an ambiguous collaboration: the lines in the poems are phrases set out by anonymous inmates at the secret Stasi prison, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen in the 1980s. I work with these texts translated from German to English because political imprisonment is an international problem – they could be translated into any language.
During the Stasi interrogation process, certain prisoners were rewarded with access to a variety of novels. Although it was explicitly illegal, they used the pages in these books to transmit messages by indenting certain phrases with their fingernails. Since I was introduced to these books in 2017 I have been recording the underlined material, the meta-texts.
The poetic method here reinterprets W.S. Burroughs’ process. In another context he said, “cut the word lines and you will hear their voices.” (WSB, 1963). The larger than life-sized figural drawings are meditations on these texts and my research in this secret prison. Some are shown here.