A Set of Lines, A Stack of Paper is the second in a series of exhibitions based on a wide-reaching research about the act of writing. The original typewritten manuscript of Vilem Flusser’s essay The Gesture of Writing provides thematic and formal-aesthetic foundation to this exhibition. ‘To write,’ says the philosopher about the basic requirements that should lead to a complete piece of writing, we need ‘a blank surface, for instance a white leaf of paper; an instrument which contains a matter that contrasts with the whiteness of the paper; the letters of the alphabet; the convention which gives a meaning to the letters; ‘orthography’ = correct writing; the rules which order that language, what is called ‘grammar’; an idea to be expressed in a language; and a motive to express that idea’.
Understanding the act of writing as a broad culturally embedded gesture, the exhibition A Set of Lines, A Stack of Paper covers artistic, literary, as well as curatorial and editorial fields and combines them. The exhibition features two of eighteen overall research chapters which reflect upon the act of writing where linguistic, visual, physical, and spatial aspects interact. Concepts of ‘line’ and ‘paper’, two of the fundamental prerequisites for writing-one decisive for the structure of the act (the line), and one for the writing surface (the paper) are explored through a variety of artistic means. Reflecting upon the gesture of writing through these two categories, however, extends far beyond their own terms and far beyond a mere piece of lined paper.
A Set of Lines, A Stack of Paper is part of a research project entitled Possible Content for 18 Pages which is based on the essay “The Gesture of Writing” by Vilem Flusser. The first part of this exhibition and book series took place at the Akbank Art Centre in Istanbul in 2014. Both book and exhibition in Istanbul were entitled This Page Intentionally Left Blank.