never rains but it pours: another PARSE Journal issue

Hot on the heels of issue # 10 on Migration going live, there is now also issue # 11 of PARSE Journal on ‘Intersections’. With an entirely different focus, this issue – not surprisingly edited by three women, Kristina Hagström-Ståhl, Jyoti Mistry and Jessica Hemmings – comprises a wide ranging set of contributions that relate to an equally diverse range of practices that engage with notions of voice, identity, modes of publishing and storytelling. My favourite essays is a beautifully written text on queer translating by Maxine Savage.

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Niek Kemps, Big Eyes, Small Windows: Selected Writings

Having worked on a previous publication in relation to Niek Kemps’ work (the catalogue for his solo show at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 1992), upon my move to London in 1996, I set out to translate his collected writings. This followed an installation of Niek’s work at Tramway in 1996, curated by Charles Esche.

After several years of tackling texts – which ranged from brief, poem-like approaches, to longer prose pieces – at a leisurely pace, the project accelerated in 1998 with several intense weeks in Wenduine, where Niek lived most of the time. Charles came over, and so did Otto Berchem, who – as an American having lived in Holland for several years by then – scrutinised my endeavours from his perspective.

The book was eventually published by Black Dog and designed by Luc Derycke. It was an excellent project to sharpen my translation skills with, as it wasn’t so much about literal translations, but about grasping the meaning in a more poetic way.

For more information on Niek’s work, please check his website.

The wrong way round…

Some 17 years ago I made the UK my well-chosen home, and over time I started to translate texts for various clients. As my confidence and fluency in English improved, translating from Dutch into English became an irregularly recurring activity.

An exception were two pieces for De Witte Raaf last summer. I was invited to translate two interviews conducted by Koen Brams and Dirk Pültau, De Witte Raaf’s editors – one with curator Julian Heynen and the other with curator Stefanie Kreuzer – from English into Dutch. Although it felt like the wrong way round, I took up the challenge.

The results can be found on De Witte Raaf‘s website here and here.

The conversations focused on seminal exhibitions in Germany in the 1980s.