Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire

“A book that asks, abstractly, are letters shaped like bodies? Can words evoke faces, captured in a screen? Who, or what, is assimilating, who or what? Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire is a collection of art poems, hand wrought in black, grey, silver and white, fashioned with indian ink, paint and pen, worked with techniques that edge around writing, vying with abstraction, constantly harrying semantic meaning and legibility. 

Five years in the making, conceptually this is a book about sex, poetry and pornography and the disconnect between the former and the latter. These pages explore technology in its absence and aim to evidence the power of materiality and the body, and our hands, that are still required for touch.”

“Searching AOAE online (Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire) shows a YouTube clip of Japanese cats mating. What’s a word in any case if not a monster? A monster that eats words. The toner explodes on the office carpet spilling out a perfectly formed oeuvre. Serifs skywrite like migrating gannets. The rorschach accidentally tells you what to think. The printed facsimile becomes original when the world goes JavaScript. The dollar sign is a duck walking backwards into a lake. The ATM dispenses glyphs. How do we know people have faces when they take the day off work? The tank rolls over the charcoal leaving a map of Iraq or a new version of Cathay. We’re back in the world of Artaud’s final journal where, thank fuck (and at last) we’re not being told what to think. Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire is an almighty triumph, a well-earned relief. Picasso said it took a lifetime to learn to paint like a child. Or, for that matter, like the mad.” Chris McCabe

Part of Poem Brut, supported by Arts Council England. Available to purchase here – Aletta Ocean’s Alphabet Empire.

 

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