Life: A Novel

Hannah Black


Book, 16 x 10.5 cm, 108 p, language: English, publisher: Cologne, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, ISBN: 9783960981.
Materials: ink, paper

Literary synopsis

Hannah Black cowrote this science-fiction narrative with New York-based artist/musician Juliana Huxtable; in its pages each author plays the character of a risk analyst ‘returning from the dead’, somehow to accompany or prevent the apocalypse. ‘I have retired from risk, and now nothing can happen to me. I’m a single-celled organism carved out of the white bone of the world. Mind is a miracle,’ writes Huxtable. ‘You don’t have to tell me what you were by virtue of still being,’ answers Black.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Life was presented in Black’s solo exhibition Small Room at Vienna’s Mumok (16 March–18 June, 2017). The show and accompanying publication was curated and edited by Marianne Dobner and published via Cologne’s Buchhandlung Walther König. Life presents Black’s ideas in collaboration with artist and musician Huxtable and is designed by artist and DJ Soraya Lutangu (aka Bonaventure). The science-fiction narrative is described as a 'scenario  of impending apocalypse [about] two risk analysts returning from retirement to attempt to avert the end of the world', and the title refers to a Wikipedia entry on 'Life'. Black’s exhibition revolves around the question of 'collective being, "life" as an abstraction, and the uses of ancestry and lineage.' The opening night hosted an apocalyptic performance by Hannah Black and Bonaventure.

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