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"Her writing is illocutionary: it does the deed."
Using ink on paper, Dermisache invented an array of graphic languages, each with their own unique lexical and syntactic structures. Some resemble a child's scrawl while some feel like nets or knots or transcriptions of seismic waves. Some resemble maps of archipelagos while others look like scores for inscrutable performance. What they all have in common is their remarkable clarity as texts.
Praised by Roland Barthes in the early ‘70s for the “extreme intelligence of the theoretical problems related to writing that [her] work entails,” Dermisache’s writings suggest both an abstract “essence of writing” and a concrete democratization of written forms, an elaborate exploration of the possibilities for ink and page to make and represent thought.
Selected Writings, the first collection of Dermisache’s works to be published in the United States, collects two complete books and a selection of texts from the early 1970s, a rich and prolific period for the artist.
The subtlety and rigor of her work—her writing without words, typography without text, drawings without images—make Mirtha Dermisache an essential artist—not just of Argentine art, but also of what we have come to call international visual poetry.—Philippe Cyroulnik