& A FOREST (PETRIFIES) is a fiction, a poem, an exhibition by Félicia Atkinson, initiated by Corinn Gerber of Passenger Books and presented by 8-11 and 820Plaza. It manifests as two chapters (2 & 3) based on time, delay, improvisation, decay, narration, and live activities. The first chapter was on view in January at Rinomina in Paris, France.
A novel is in the process of being written by the artist since two years: The novel is called ‘Une forêt se pétrifie’. It is written in French on a laptop and later transferred into a manuscript on an analogue typewriter.
This novel takes place at several locations, the main being The Petrified Forest in Arizona, where one day, trees turned into minerals. The text mentions a conflict between two groups.
One group of people believes that archives are unnecessary today, and that we should return to oral cultural transmission and learn everything by heart, whereas another group believes in the necessity of archiving anything.
What is an archive? Can a thing change its status from an active potential to being a document? What is a fossil?
On the journey of this unpublished novel from the archival box and computer file in which it is hiding to the exhibition space, we only have access to its own palimpsests and delays that its authors decide to play with and share: a few words, a few sounds, a few images, a few objects.
At 8-11 in Toronto, the exhibition & A FOREST will only last one evening. The sculptures won’t have the time to dry, a performance will blur its apprehension. Time will be the main actor of the plot.
At 820Plaza in Montreal, (PETRIFIES) will last a few weeks. Things will decay. Sound will appear at 17.17 o’clock and disappear at 18.18.
Everything can be destroyed or kept by the hosts; this decision will be at their discretion without the need of notifying the artist. 820 Plaza and 8-11 are allowed to swap objects if they want to, as long as it remains a secret.