pHugitive Press Site:
Pedestrian overpass, north Nanaimo St. overlooking Vancouver's inner harbour
Text: Alexander Dovzhenko, The Poet as Filmmaker: Selected Writings, translated by M. Carynnyk, MIT Press 1973.
Date: August 21, 2004
This fugitive literature appeared clearly visible to the public for less time than it took to create. Tears of the Ukrainian people invoked in Dovzenko's text arrive in deluge to wash the bridge deck and leave the text palimsest.
As the first of the abridgement series, this text and bridge were chosen together. The bridge comes from the era the second world war, just as the excepts of Dovzenko's notes books were written between 1941-1943.
During the night, the text was written by hand in non-toxic chalk. My intent was to cover the span of the bridge, but I ran out of time. My goal was abridged. After only four hours of morning foot traffic, the heaviest rainfall of the summer came down in buckets. "It's raining, it's pouring"
Hence, the text was abridged from the translation, which was itself abridged from the original, which had been severly edited by the Stalinist authorities. The chalk transcription was abridged, in that it did not cover the entire span of the bridge, and the time it was clearly readable was abridged by the rain. A lot of abridging.
During the rainfall, the environment become very spooky and maudlin. The video footage emphasizes the concentration camp mood which the setting evoked during the rains. The trains, boxcars, metal girders, the stark contrastive lines and wires and barricades and concrete. It was documented the next morning, when the scene was once again reminiscent of its beautiful location in Vancouver.
Abridgement 1 was archived immediately after completion, 12 hours later (during downpour) and finally 24 hours later, in order to document the transformation of the text as it blended into, and become part of, the environment. It brought the text, architecture, and historical connection between the wartime Ukraine, Russia, Canada and America into a focus which had a powerful, even meteorlogical effect on localized ontological spacetime. The text has contemporary relevance, and it's few readers where caught for a moment between the past and present.