‘The word is deceptive’, Irma Blank says. ‘Since the literary critiques of the 1960s, faith in the word has been largely lost. We see it still
today: words, words, words that say nothing. The word is emptied of its meaning. I try to retrieve the space of silence, the unsaid’ (‘Irma Blank talks about her solo exhibition in London,’ in Artforum 15 October 2014, http:/artforum.com/words/id=48638 [accessed 12/02/16]). Blank’s meditative mark-making employs the visual language of books, text, and script, but empties these signs of signifcation. Extended, rhythmic strokes of paint run out from the centre of Radical Writing, Exercitium, creating a bipartite field reminiscent of the spread pages of an open book; their regular lineation echoes rows of text, but any message is enigmatically
silent. ‘I have to go back to the primordial sign, back before it became language’, she explains (ibid). Gesturing towards that which is uncodified, unconscious and unspeakable, this ‘radical writing’ elides the systems of meaning that we live by, inscribing the intangible on a tabula rasa of quiet beauty.