Out of Context (Press Otherwise)
Redaction is always a collaborative project, or perhaps a parasitic one. Item B would not exist without item A. In redaction, the original text, the first author, does most of the heavy lifting, or at minimum creates the context and possibility for the redactor. Of the many kinds of literary redaction, the most common has the redactor comb an entire book, article, or chapter, and the redactor carefully picks what words and passages to include. In the intuitive method, the redactor selects books from a range of emotional stances or by some other criteria before the blackout process is applied. William Burroughs popularized the random approach, in which pages of books are cut into individual words and placed in a new order. In Out of Context, John Gosslee does something at once new and yet deeply rooted in this tradition.
Out of Context, enacts, interrogates, and dramatizes this notion of silence as artistic vision, as narrative and its inevitable unraveling.
There is also a great deal of variation in the visual presentation of the work.
Gosslee’s "blackouts" expose the tension between censorship and language reclamation for the disempowered individual.
Out of Context is an oversized, handsome volume with the opening essays adding interest.