Alenka Pirman: The Ultimate Word
From 2009, silkprint on wall, 2015
I wanted to curb the violent presence of topics and words brought into my home by the media. I began to “count out” words from the lead article of the daily newspaper Delo and kept a record of them. Using a primitive algorithm (the first day I extracted every other word, the next day every third word, and so on), I hoped to distil the vocabulary down to the last word, The Ultimate Word, which would replace all the others and do away once and for all with the violence of the inessential. Perhaps not surprisingly, it took me three years to do this. In August 2009, I reached the Ultimate Word, which I carved and branded into my three kitchen chairs (still in use). The genesis of the extraction is stored in a bound set of “drawings” (2007–2009) and was printed as a free newspaper in 10,000 copies (still in distribution). The newspaper itself led to an interesting turnabout: it was designed by Ermin Međedović, a typographer and the art director of the Delo newspaper; he is the same person who all these years was responsible for the layout of the lead articles from which I had been counting out words. Međedović used the same typography he had designed for Delo in the Ultimate Word publication.
The Ultimate Word has also been hand-printed as two daily calendars (2010 and 2014), and its genesis is presented in two audio recordings – in the form of a public reading (recording/podcast, RadioCona, 2009) and as a reading by a radio announcer for the International Centre of Graphic Arts exhibition (2014).
Photo: Jaka Babnik, Archives of the International Center of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
Artist's web page: Alenka Pirman