In The Reading Room of Hell, by Novel
24.2 — 12.5 18
In The Reading Room of Hell, by Novel
24.2 — 12.5 18

Works by Eileen Agar | Jean-Marie Appriou | Ben R. Clement | Alastair Mackinven | Agnes Moraux | Julien Nguyen | Henrik Olesen | Claire  Potter | Patrick Procktor | Luiz Roque | Simon Thompson | Elaine Cameron-Weir


Opening 24. 2 at 6 pm. with a performance by Claire Potter




In the reading room of Hell     In the club

for science-fiction fans

On the frosted patios     In the bedrooms of passage

On the iced-over paths     Where everything finally seems clearer

and each instant is better and less important

With cigarette in mouth and with fear     Sometimes

green eyes     And 26 years old     Yours truly


(Bolaño, Roberto. ‘In the reading room of hell’, The Unknown University, New Directions, NY, 2007, p.135)



NOVEL asks us to think of writing as something distinct from information, as at least one realm of cultural production that is exempt from the encompassing obligation to communicate.

Every iteration of NOVEL incorporates a cacophony of voices, which is the primary condition of writing, including the staging of exhibitions, readings and screenings. Here, the collective journal is an apparatus for knowledge capture, informed by theory, film, politics and storytelling; renegotiating unfulfilled beginnings or incomplete projects that might offer an alternative script. Such a script necessarily has future performances in mind, making provisions with directions and cues, but the transcript’s smallest claim is to be an accurate record. NOVEL’s performances dwell on the forward-facing moment at which printed documentation, rather than a script, is brought alive again and opens out the act of publishing so that it becomes a self-critical social endeavour.

The exhibition at Aplus A, Venice will be the loci for reading, with artworks and related films that augment the fictioning of a scenario. This scenography will be the summation of multiple experiences and anxieties that demands new forms of critical fiction. This scenario requires an active protagonist, a polymath who can amalgamate sources with fluency. Fiction is not made up, it is based on everything we can learn or use; a space in which all sources of knowledge are valid.

NOVEL is an itinerant curatorial platform devised by Alun Rowlands and Matt Williams that draws together artists writing, texts and poetry that oscillate between modes of fiction and criticism. A cacophony of voices, that is the primary condition of writing, seek to break the habitual methods of representation and productions of subjectivity.


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