Art and literature is awash in autobiographical meta-fiction, fascinating some and irking others. Why does this kind of work continue to fascinate? In spite of the constant lamentation about objective truth’s loss of standing, the idle speculation persists: “Is it true?!” - a question that asks for its own arousal, disclosure as dirty talk, rather than knowledge.
In his essay on ‘The Purloined Letter,’ Derrida describes how literature alleges to put forth something like the truth, using the trope of a supposed unveiling—the means by which the truth is revealed. Derrida asks whether literature permits a “denuding of the denuding,” in which our attention might be drawn the the mechanisms by which truth is revealed. Despite revealing purported truths at every turn, Trust directs our attention instead to the veils, ceaselessly drawing one back to reveal the next.
In Trust, Kovner proposes two disparate timelines, both claiming to present his own biography. One follows the storyline presented in 1130 Fifth Avenue, while the other follows the storyline of his artist bio. The events of the two timelines are the same, but their chronology is jumbled. In the exhibition space, the viewer walks from event to event as noted in the timeline, seeing both a description of how they transpired as well as affiliated documentation (photos, e-mails, and other ephemera).
Novel and artist bio timelines, vinyl wall sticker
Trust was presented at Vriend Van Bavink, Amsterdam from June 13th-18th, 2016