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Writing (MA)

Louise Camu

Louise Camu (b. 1995) is a writer based in London. She received a BA in History from UCL in 2017 where her research focused on Life Writing; more specifically, on the role of collective memory and nostalgia in the emergence of a post-socialist identity, which she explored through various travel narratives written during or shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. During her time at the RCA, she was co-editor of ARC Magazine. She has published work online and in print with Picpus, Goat Magazine, Circa Art and Savage Journal and worked as a copywriter for two years prior to her MA.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Writing (MA)

‘Writing is the art of patchwork’ said Lisa Robertson, and of that I am certain. To knit; to sew; to fold into; to splice, cut and assemble – to bring together fragments in new and unlikely conversation through intimate reflection. I write against the notion of fixed or rigidly delineated forms, and as such, I am interested in the work of those who operate within that generative, interstitial and elusive space where things overlap and intersect, remain open-ended or float untethered to the whole.

Current research and curatorial interests hinge upon dissolving the barrier between the public and the private, the past and present, the collective and individual, the interior versus exterior of: institutions, bodies, buildings, memory and archives, amongst other things.

The projects presented here include extracts from essays, a research project, an interview and an exhibition text. Though they concern themselves with widely different topics – from pinboards to spirit photographs – each of them involved working with archives – institutional or otherwise – in the hope of developing alternative methods of writing, reading and encountering the material held within them, or lack thereof. A thin thread connects them all: a desire to re-imagine the archive as a dynamic, radical space filled with possibility.

The Pinboard Project: Archive Box. Image: 'Betty', Gerhard Richter, 1988.

‘Writing with Images’ is the culmination of a year of writing and research on alternative methods of arts publishing, on the role of images in memory and representation and more specifically, on the importance of intimacy and affinity as a lens through which to to write about art. It explores the pinboard (and all its attendant notions of form: constellation, fragment, layer, collage, trace) as an artistic method in its own right, and one intrinsically linked to both research and writing processes. It equally holds potential for a radical and imaginative reconfiguration of archival and curatorial practices.

The format of the pinboard was adopted as a guiding structure for the project — one synonymous with the pinboard's multi-directional nature. Within the archive box, I present short-form personal writing alongside more sustained critical essays in a free and associative manner, as well as excursions into peripheral material and visual asides. The aim was to recreate the flexible narrative and non-hierarchical structure of the pinboard format that in turn would allow me to navigate tangential, associative and speculative modes of questioning.

Printed by F.E. Burman

Text: Betty / Text: Elective Affinities / Postcard on pinboard: 'Betty', Gerhard Richter, 1988.
Text: Writing With Images / Notecards / Text: Chris Marker
Text: A History / Text: Centrifuge / Text: Letter to GC
Text: A Personal Archaeology / Text: Centrifuge
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An interview with Charles Asprey, the co-editor of Picpus Press.

Spirit Photograph. Copyright © The Swedenborg Society

‘A Little Imagination’ was my written contribution to the exhibition ‘Hellish Love: Objects from the Swedenborg Archive’ which we curated a group.