On a kitchen table in the ICA’s main second-floor gallery, flanked by two chairs, lies a copy of Burn the Diaries. Open the book of journal-entry-like essays and photographs, created by Moyra Davey for her exhibition of the same name. It begins with a discussion of blankness: of Jean Genet’s efforts to construct the story of his life, and his focus on the textures and hues of the blank paper on which he would write.
“The murkiness and ambiguities of a life take on weight and authority by virtue of the published document,” Davey writes. “Perhaps this is what Genet meant when he said there is more truth in the whiteness surrounding all those black characters than in the meticulously transcribed words themselves.”
Join us for READING: Jean Genet, a program of screenings and conversations at International House Philadelphia, December 2.