An image of the first page of Alexis Argyroglo's Letter to Andy Walker (ALT)

Alexis Argyroglo’s Letter to Andy Walker

Andy Listening to Ron Translate as Alexis Hovers Above

Listen to a verbal translation of Alexis Argyroglo‘s “Letter to Andy Walker” from French to English by Ron Haas, a Lecturer in Expository Writing at the University of Oklahoma. Recorded during a phone call between Andy and Ron on the evening of October 29, 2009.

Audrey Cottin started this project by asking us to consider the phrase “sinistered reality.” To finish it, she asked us to begin a dialogue around this phrase with another artist involved in the project. My dialogue began when I received a remarkable letter from Alexis Argyroglo. My take on the phrase, and the project as a whole, ultimately came down to pondering the translation we all seemed to be negotiating.

“If we had such a term in English, I sense sinistered describes the fractured state; a reality that is not wholly destroyed, nor pure, but comprised, suddenly open for judgement and fertile as a result of the break…Translation itself involves this fracture. It is, as we’ve defined it, a sinistered reality. Seeing that the Nietzscheian notion of this phrase never returned, translation, along with generative misunderstanding, is the real thrust of my thoughts on this subject and this project. When traversing a phrase from one language to another, there is never a true unity or perfect match between the two. Both realities are suspended because they have been brought together. The very act of translation breaks the origin, but potentially makes its meaning richer by comparison. It is not so much a question of which version is correct, but rather the complexity of meaning that arises when considering differences and holding the ultimate veracity of both conditions in suspension simultaneously.”

For my complete written text, see pages 50 – 53 in the publication OneShot2k9.

OneShot2k9 (2009) | 2011 | OneShot2k9, Text and Collaboration