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Bound words - Stolen Honey

Anne Tallentire
1988
Video VHS 7 minutes looped Installation; wallpaper, glass, book, box beeswax

Bound words - Stolen Honey

'A video monitor displaying a page of text on how bees are observed stands in front of a wall papered with images of volumes, many concerning property, books that one way or another refer to the Law. These in turn, displaced by glazed reflections onto the floor, are juxtaposed with an open trunk presenting another book inviting the viewer to read between Gaelic and English transcriptions of the ancient Irish Brehon (Bee) Laws.1 It is a work that calls to mind the Borgesian play with knowledge; the library and the Law in Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose. Knowledge is the property of whomsoever has access to the library, but the further one advances into the labyrinthine space, the more one comes to realise that the library conceals at its core an inaccessible 'truth', one which, indeed, must never be disclosed; hence the librarian, the guardian of knowledge, can only be a blind man. In Bound Words - Stolen Honey, caught between the image of the book and the promise of translation, the viewer, like a blind man confronts the paradox of the Law, which is none other than that of language.'

1. The Brehon bee laws stated that if bees strayed into a neighbour's territory then he was entitled to the honey

Jean Fisher 'Dancing on a tightrope (for Anne Tallentire)' 1999

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