Dim, Dahlia, Violet, Stone

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“Dim, Dahlia, Violet, Stone” is a wild translation of Simone Kearney’s searing poetry and tender sculpture as seen interpreted by photographer Hannah Whitaker, designer Elana Schlenker, and Risograph printers Maddy Bremner and Genevieve Sachs. The book opens across a horizontal spiral the breadth of a musical score in which the text falls and clumps and scatters, teetering between cohering and dissolving. 

Here, in layers of text and image and ink, we glimpse the raw and vulnerable relational space between lovers—a space and time where self and other are both joined and always separate. Words fill the space between two bodies. “There is a little furrow on the window which is like a comma on the margin of a feeling, a dimple in the tremor between two words.” 

Finally, an erratic metronome of time-marks the incessant, irrational, temporality of desire. Dilated, ecstatic, languid, or achingly lonely, a time cut up by the anxious checking of the clock. The poem asks if we look at this moment, can we hold it? And so do the photographs. Whitaker’s sly eye, her interventions of light and iridescence strangely animate the carved stone figures in the artist’s studio, now deranged by the dream-space of unreal color. These photographed sculptures carry the love and connection of the poem, but also its hurt, its holes, its scrapes, its futilities, a stunned solitude, an estrangement both musical and mute.