Conferencistas convidados · Ponentes
Marina Garzón Fernández, University of Santiago de Compostela
The swing of the page: dynamic interaction in the act of reading
In 14th century Castile the Hebrew writer Sem Tob described a writing technique based on paper cutting where the sharp blade of the scissors removed the letters out of the paper leaving words made of air. Although no contemporary example of this form of artwork remains today, the author, in his ode to writing with scissors fully describes the relationship developed between the reader and the script. There is a need for motion during the process of creation as during the process of reading, when the subject is compelled to play with the paper in order to properly see these invisible letters.
This paper seeks to explore the aesthetic of movement that follows the act of reading by, comparing theoretical works,such as the one from Sem Tob, with actual objects. A methodological approach has been developed by Daniel Connoly in his study of the maps of Matthew Paris’ Chronica Majora, where a complex system of flaps that fold and unfold, welcome the reader to engage in an imaginary pilgrimage transformed in perfomative reading. A similar interplay takes place in the bible of Wearmouth-Jarrow, where an illustrated bifolium appears to have been meant as a separated piece of the codex. According to Celia Chazelle, this double-page illustration of a Tabernacle would accompany the monk through his reading establishing various meanings depending on the connection of the image with the text.
These recent studies provide a theoretical groundwork for the development of new approaches that aim to break with the monolithical concept of the codex in order to rethink its relationship with the reader as an active rather than a passive subject.