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Thomas Müller, Marfa Drawings, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, 2003. installation view. 
Photo: Christian Blei.

Thomas Müller

By Gordon Shrigley

By Dint of a Coarse Inscription

To start [and to end with line].

To lay within.

A desire to sink within the irreducible, to travel inside breadthlessness [this sense of spacing, which would like to leave us effectively blind], so as not to emerge out of, so as not to be forever looking at this mode of effacement, from the outside.

As an inhabitation of the spacing of space generally, not though by the casting of myself within this narration as an uninvited guest, but that of a wayward son, who has only recently discovered [through the application of a hard-won linear discipline], a perverse humility.

And so.

I would seek to understand, here and now, through a wordliness that is instantiated and given figure by line, the spacing within and the spacing without line. As that initially held within the arena of the common ‘sensual’, between the drift of the imaginary and the phenomena of everyday four-dimensional experience. And so to think, if this hollowing out of the subject, as that which contains, cannot be thought through, as a spatial continuum of equivalence, which stretches to cover both fancy and form through the inauguration and luminous arc of line.

And so… I repeat [as I write in reverse, I erase].

To partially frame here and now, through a wordliness [forevermore instantiated and literally given figure by line], the space within and the luxuriant sense of spacing, the movement without a line; as a continual inversion of the one courting the other that constitutes the perpetuum mobili of the quotidian. 

Does the physical act of marking, how a hand variously pushes, pulls and presses a utensil, cause one to think, by this practice of inscription, that I freeze a moment? 

That such layering of drawing acts, inscribing, re-inscribing, erasing, collaging, parenthetic insertion and the disparate parallelisms that constitute the modes of graphitto-production, allows the inscribing subject to entertain the thought, that by each stroke of their pen, as a line is infinitely extended, that they are able to capture, to fix, an ever-flowing field of delimitation [what it is to be conscious of drifting in the world], simply by dint of a coarse inscription?

When the first mark was recognised as a mark, our particular sense of spatial consciousness began and all the rest, one might say, is confined to the tropics of lineature.


Thomas Müller, Installation Views: Raumweschel V, Kunstraum Alexander Bürkle, Freiburg im Breisgau, 2006 (photo: Thomas Schulze) and Weilen und Teilchen, Galerie Parterre, Berlin, 2010 (photo: Bernhard Strauss).

Gordon Shrigley works with drawing, text, video and architecture and is represented by IMT gallery, London.

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