Holly Pickering


Photograph by Aoife Herritty

The term ‘Amanuensis’ denotes a person who transcribes dictation. In Latin, the word directly translates to “a servant from the hand”. 

This work appropriates the phrase “whisper the secret into the hole” from the science fiction film 2046 by Wong Kar-wai. The scene from which the text draws, unfolds between an android and a man who falls in love with her. Her responses to him are delayed, which he believes to be a symptom of her fatigue/malfunctioning, before realizing that her silence is an effort in refusal. This work takes apart his unreciprocated words, repeating them on a cassette player and dispersing them throughout the room in the form of phonetic symbols.

Within the space there are 4 prints referencing different forms of handwriting, and a copy of the novel The Golden Bowl, a book transcribed by Theodora Bosanquet, an amanuensis to Henry James.  
Collectively, this work considers ideas surrounding the physical effect of language upon the body and the body upon language, dictation and silence.

Holly Pickering (b.1998) is an artist based in Dublin. Her oeuvre is concerned with interrogating language structures inherent in both the corporeal act of speech and in written material, meditating upon the physical effect of language upon the body and the relationship between language and how we navigate ourselves throughout the world. Her practice is multi-disciplinary, encompassing film, sound and sculptural installations often oriented around experimental texts and fictional narratives. Film, literary forms, and poetry are central to her practice.

Photograph by Aoife Herritty
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