On Friday 8th of February myself, Soma Ghosh of Demented Goddess and Adam Scovell contributed to an evening in order to launch Adam's latest book Mothlight published by Influx Press. A genuinely haunted tale about gender, displacement of location and obsessive-compulsive learnings. Many interesting reviews have surfaced about the intention of the book but knowing Adam, I would say it’s a fairly honest and open account of what it is to experience OCD, to be haunted by it and to channel the very idea of what a self is, and if it can indeed be something unique to you, or if it can be shared with others. Adam riffed off of Derrida’s claim in the film Ghost Dance, that, should you be asked if you believe in ghosts, you are infact asked if you believe in your-self.
This book is a wonderful challenge to the idea of gender, hauntological in its roots, this evening sought to explore what ghosts really are and if photography/film itself is a dead media in more ways than one.
My talk looked to mirror Adam’s book, by focusing on Adam's use of photography and location. I particularly liked the way he used postcards as a device to let you know more secret and hidden facts about the protagonist.
I read aloud a ghost letter I had written to my friend Catrin who I had met for the first time in Bethesda north Wales, a location deep within the book.
You can hear clips of my talk here… It features heavily my friend Janelle...
To say a little about the performance by Soma Ghosh of Demented Goddess, a gifted writer, editor and music anthropologist (who’s interview with me you can find in my selected writings). Soma looked to exorcize her pain with an Avant Garde performance regarding her attempts to smuggle cake to the funk singer Betty Davis. The backdrop was set against the melancholy of losing musical icons in a new age, Soma's performance was a sincere love letter to her idols and their fade from our lives.
Adam read with some enviable confidence, the cadences on his northern twang are humbly cosy and rustic to me a nesh southerner. The book itself was a ghost of the evening, quietly reminding us to remember it.
And one of us togther during the Q&A...
It was a cosy and beautiful evening, I wish you were there. All photos and videos by Kaveh Abbasian.