David Musgrave


Book, 19.4 x 14.2 cm, 184 p., language : English, publisher : LemonMelon, London, ISBN : 978-1-908260-15-4.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2027/563).

Literary synopsis

Unit is a first-person account of the entire life of an artificial being. A human story exists in a fragmentary way at the limits of the narrator's awareness, but it is essentially a perspective on the animate and inanimate world narrated from an impossible, quasi-human viewpoint. The text moves freely from latin script to diagrams, calligrams, algebra and other signifying material. 

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Unit is a further expression of the anthropomorphism that characterises most of David Musgrave's work to date. This anthropomorphism is complex and contradictory – the reductive abstraction of the recurring stick figure schema is the condition of its recognisability, and also what makes it fundamentally unlike any actual human presence. Novels are predicated on their ability to render the real abstractly through the system of signs we call writing, or at least on a conventional understanding that they can do so. Unit is a work that takes this essential literary artificiality as its subject by placing a constructed narrator at the heart of its constructed reality.

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