Yann Sérandour

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In his 1967 essay “The Death of the Author,” Roland Barthes famously asserts that “the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original.” The same year, Italo Calvino wrote “Whom Do We Write For or The Hypothetical Bookshelf,” suggesting that books are written to be placed next to other books in a juxtaposition of voices particular to each reader’s library. French artist Yann Sérandour evokes this transitional moment in literary theory by appropriating anterior works and reactivating them through subtle interventions and a precise sense of humor. He focuses on the act of reading and the slippages that result from repetition, modification, and displacement.

The title work of Sérandour’s recent show, Weiss (White), 2008, features a selection of publications from the overflow of gb agency’s archive. Sérandour casually propped these magazines and catalogues (including the

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