THE LAKE
by Lyn Hejinian and Emilie Clark
 

"In October of 1999, we spent a week together on Lake Wentworth in New Hampshire. Our intention was to begin work on a collaboration that would require us to work in each other's medium as well as our own. We wanted to attempt a work that was site-specific and also time-specific. Our previous collaboration, The Traveler and the Hill and the Hill [Granary Books, 1998] had evolved over the course of several years, and for most of that time we had worked on our respective parts separately, and this time we wanted to explore the possibilities and problems of a collaboration in real time. Indeed, 'exploration' was to be one of the themes of the work, and in retrospect the work can be seen as a study of an ecosystem, in which the lake figures both as a literal and a metaphorical landscape. Language and visual imagery were the ecological elements in the system of the work, as the various material forms above, around, and below the lake's surface were in that of the site. We were interested in the interrelationships, simultaneities, and the extents of layers; we were thinking about complex emotional and aesthetic terrains along with the literal one we were investigating. We imagined the lake as a site and described such a site as being constituted by all possible responses to it. We worked from early morning to late at night, taking breaks to walk along the lakeshore or go out into the lake in a kayak, photographing along the way (the rolls of film were developed at a one-hour photo processing shop in the nearest town). At the end of the week we found we had a sequence of pages that we felt together comprised a work. Naturally, we called it The Lake." —Lyn Hejinian and Emilie Clark

The Lake is a deep collaboration wherein artist and poet risk allowing the other to tinker with their respective work. The book emerges from the confluence of Hejinian and Clark's energies — a child of both parents indeed. The images make use of watercolor, photography, collage, and pen & ink subtly mirroring the sprightly activity beneath the water's surface. The writings carve another layer into the work's topography and navigate the current of the book's expedition. The Lake is presented as an accordian book in a cloth-covered slipcase. The muted images are printed in full color; the text a reproduction of the poet's holograph.

The book was printed by Silicon Gallery using the Epson 10600 in Philadelphia during the spring of 2004. The text stock is Somerset Velvet Enhanced 220; the cover is canvas. Judith Ivry made the bindings in New York City. Circa 8" x 8" — 19 pages. 57 copies in the edition each signed by the poet and the artist: 140 are for sale; 4155 are hors commerce. $1700 US.

Other Granary publications by this author & artist:
The Traveler and the Hill and the Hill, by Lyn Hejinian & Emilie Clark
A Border Comedy, by Lyn Hejinian

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