Elizabeth Di Donna
Reading/Writing (Gallery Landscape)Reading/Writing (Feet)Reading/Writing (Hand)Reading/Writing (Waves)Reading/Writing (Waves)Reading/Writing (Dissolving Tablet)Reading/Writing (Dissolving Tablet)
Reading/Writing (after Vito Acconci)
Reading/Writing is an ongoing series of works inspired by two poems, "Untitled (Reading)" and "Untitled (Writing)," written by Vito Acconci in 1968.

For the Reading/Writing series, I became aware of Vito Acconci’s poetry from the 1960s. He was interested in the space of a page, a structure within which a reader and writer could move. I related this to the action of walking and how one moves through a landscape, both reading it (observing, maneuvering) and writing on it (making impressions, creating change).

I appropriated text from two of his poems from 1966, Untitled (Reading) and Untitled (Writing) and applied them to different surfaces – creating a gallery landscape, the landscape of my body and a page made of clay devoured by waves along the coast.

The slip acts as a binder – it binds to my body and it binds me to the land – while the written clay text grounds the ideas behind the words into a physical form. The words of each poem act like rule books for common actions: “Reading is learning the true meaning of something,” or, “writing is forming or inscribing words, letters or symbols, etc. on a surface as by cutting, carving or especially marking.” These “directions” are lined up in typewriter regularity, each line being subsequently marked out. For me, this strike-through creates a visual, even material, stacking reminiscent of physical strata.