Weiner Chapter 9

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S.R. I want to ask you about this new work »On a string«. I wonder a little bit about the content. How did you come to this form, to this figure of a line with an arrow at the end?

L.W. That is the strangest question, how did you come ... [...] I was involved in a body of work that had to do with attempting to again redetermining my own place within my own environment. You could find all the romantic associations and all of the dramatic reasons you want, why I was doing this ? ... it has nothing to do with the work itself; it was trying to take myself as every person and trying to deal with how I related to this world. I'm working on a body of work that has to implications of the roomline which is how a map was brought into a point where people could understand where they were going. In these positions I began to realize that at any given moment (..) the world, as we know it, was on a string, it had an umbilical cord at all time, said it had this string ... I began to get involved in the idea of what this string would be. The string itself then became this gesture, and the gesture became a universal for me of a string. But rather than a string that just was hanging there, (..) like the wonderful string in the Robert Whitney performance in the 60s, where he just placed the string and the string came down ... I wanted a string that functioned like a string on a yoyo or on one of those paddle balls – which is a ? string, but it's a string, it's a band- ... and the placement of the arrow is just the implication that in fact it's designed to do what everything happens when we are doing any work of ourselves in relation to the world, is you are on a string. And that string then became the device that placed the work outside of being a pronouncement, outside of being a conceptual ideal into a reality. That was it; that's the only reason for the use of a string. Whether or not there'll be another use of a string outside of a cartoon or another means of conversation, I don't know. But at this point it seemed to be the right thing. As I began to develop the installation, to develop the work, I decided to take the string and give it it's own - as well since each word has it's own, and that became this part of the work which is just another part of the sculpture, and it's an integral part of it.

S.R. And I have another question about this, because I realized that [...] some years ago you changed your typo. Maybe you want to say something about that. Before you used Franklin Gothic?

L.W. Franklin Gothic extra condensed which was an attempt for me to find a non-authoritative sans-serife face that when presented has a certain elegance, but it had an elegance by virtue of itself rather that by virtue of association with a modernist movement ... After a while I began to notice that people were seeing it as something to do with me, and it was becoming a signature, and I decided to find a typeface that carried the same feeling at the moment. I'm not obligated to stay with a typeface; it's the Inhalt, the content of the words that I'm dealing with. [...] I started to design a stencilled typeface because I had always stencilled things before, and I was working and working ... and I'm not a formed designer, but [...] it takes quite a bit to design a decent typeface. And all the way I didn't have the time, I had to do an exhibition, a project and was getting impatient, and I simply asked my assistant if she would be kind enough to go onto the internet and start looking through for something that would strike her in the stencilled typefaces that I would look at. (..) Nothing, ? through a couple of weeks we looked it up – you couldn't believe how many stencil type founds(?) there are ... -. Then one day it was: »Lawrence, would you like to take a look at something?« And then I looked. And my god, somebody had gotten it right! And we looked at it. And I decided ok, and we bought it and I played with it for a while. You know, you buy it from the typehouse; and I played with it for a while. And I became quite excited about it, and I've been using it; maybe tomorrow morning I won't be.

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