There’s a passage in Sartre’s first novel, Le Nausee, in which the lead character describes his passion for collecting discarded pieces of paper. It’s a passage I’ve visited many times in the years since first reading it, not just for the pleasure of it’s narrative, but also for something else…something outside the words…something it says about encounters with paper [including the pages on which the words are printed].
In the six months between December 2004 and May 2005 I lived and worked in Bristol, England and had many encounters with paper.
A bus ticket from Saturday morning shopping, 3 sugar packets from a morning coffee, a napkin from a Pain au Chocolat, a newspaper photograph of Adolph Hitler that reminded me strangely of someone I knew, a flyer sent with a council tax bill which boldly announced that “There’s nowhere to hide” and carried an image of two figures who bore a striking resemblance to the Kray twins, and others.
I collected them and made pictures of them on paper so that, like Sartre’s words, they’re pictures on paper on paper on paper.
*prices valid 2005