Site-Writing

The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Valia Rassa | London

  • Valia Rassa, 1 Valia Rassa, 2 Valia Rassa, 3
  • A critical reading of The Arrival, a graphic novel by Shaun Tan, became actualized in the form of companion work or reader. The physical object of this project contains a pamphlet that analyses the structure and visual and narrative composition of the original book. It is accompanied by a theoretical exploration of literary criticism focusing on structuralism and the role of the reader, as well as a self-reflective commentary that summarizes the process towards the development of a critical position in relation to the site. The Arrival’s Reader constitutes a visual version of literary criticism raising questions in terms of what constitutes a critical storytelling. It contemplates the role of the reader as co-creator and the interplay of reader and writer in the joint production of meaning.


    Biography:

    Valia Rassa is an architect, theorist and architectural researcher from Athens, Greece.

    Her work and academic interests are related to critical interpretations of architecture through investigating the relation between history and theory and their imprints in practice.

    She holds an MA degree with Distinction in ‘Architectural History’ from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where she explored the various aspects of narrative, historiography and criticism in architecture and art. She has also attended the MSc programme in Philosophy and History of Science at PHS Department of National & Kapodestrian University of Athens where she familiarized herself with a concrete philosophical and historiographical apparatus. An accomplished architect, she holds a Diploma in Architectural Engineering from the School of Architecture at the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. As an architectural researcher, she has worked for a number of established companies and institutions in London.


    Practices:

    Exploiting the author’s material and tools, the aim of this site-writing project is to explore the potentiality of the critical act not in writing about the object, but in writing as the object.  I conducted close readings of this specific book in order to apprehend it. This engagement allowed me to go as far as to utilize it to the extreme – interfere with its materiality and reconfigure its fragments. Criticism as a process suggests to me an interaction with the artwork that allows a reformation of the criteria of criticism, rearticulating the critic’s position. The Arrival’s Reader manifests the experience of critical reading, as an invested activity, and criticism itself as a form of practice.


    Keywords:
    Critical reading, narrative, fragments, migration, diagrams

    References:

    Judith Butler (2001). What is Critique? An essay on Foucault’s Virtue, http://eipcp.net/transversal/0806/butler/en/
    Catherine Belsey, Critical Practice (London: Routledge, 2002)
    Janet Wolff, The Social Production of Art (London: Macmillan, 1993)


    Other projects:
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21-24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016-2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • Phantom Railings (2012-17)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • Urban Literacy (2013 / 2014 / 2016)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23-26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
  • Back to Top