By Maddy Plimmer
During his artist residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, David Horvitz created a publication to coincide with his stay there. He sent regular emails over a week documenting his experiences in Dublin, and anyone was able to sign up to receive the emails. Horvitz sent poems, photos and sort of diary passages. These emails were then printed, scanned into a computer and compiled into a .pdf file which is now available on his website.
In the emails he discusses art works that were not a part of his then current residency. He discusses his ongoing restaurant spoon collection, and the joys of taking them out of their natural cycle and grouping them together like a bouquet of flowers. He reveals that he has always wanted to make a series of photographic self-portraits standing next to trees. This publication focuses on his personal experience of the residency, rather than the art that came directly out of it.
The format of the online publication, although very digital, actually becomes presented more as a print publication. The emails have been physically printed then scanned into the computer in order to reintroduce them into a virtual space, which places value on the material qualities of the printed email. The photos in the emails becomes cropped and spread across several pages, and the printer was running out of ink, which has left faded streaks in the images. Horvitz could have easily taken screenshot of the emails and presented them in their screen form, but there has clearly been a desire for the materiality of the printed email. It gives these emails a greater relationship to a traditional correspondence, and also makes me think of a treasured message. Unless an email has some really important information, or has great sentimental value, it would seem unusual to print it. To allow this information to occupy physical space unnecessarily, speaks to me about a cherishing of the content.
This publicly available, yet intimate set of communications is a fresh interpretation of the publication that assists the exhibition. It gives insight into the artist’s process, and brings his art into a broader context.
The entire publication is available in the link below.