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spacer Talking to Tania
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Dialogue 2
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Richard Layzell – Talking to Tania 11
November 2008 • Stroud

TK This is an opportunity to exceed my own expectations. Shop and window frontage, expanded space, repeated resonance. The Dialogue becomes the recurring word. Stroud is the place.

RL And the link to typography?

TK What do you mean, link? Typography, topography, it's all in the mix. The word is unleashed by corrective behaviour, not slap and tickle. We are precise. We know what we like.

RL But hasn't there been a change of dynamic since you started making individual statements outside of the dialogue? I thought our collaborative discourse was supposed to be the core. Now it feels as if you're claiming the word.

TK Don't be ridiculous. I thought it was the letter you were fretting about, the typeface even. Why dabble with Futura when we've got a relationship with Foundry Form?

RL Because our designer Phil Baines saw it as the right stuff for the cover of Cream Pages. And I think you're avoiding my question.

TK Phil's a professional. Type is his sushi, Swift his chosen body text for our book. Foundry Form was an integrated October decision for the London show. I'm not ready to relinquish these particular curves in favour of Fortuna. My T is on the button. Our Z is too important. The word is up for grabs and is the single consistent element of The Manifestation. Fear not.

RL Weren't we going to ask for Phil's input into the look and feel of The Dialogue?

TK You were. It was on your list two months ago. Instead we settled for a relationship with the publicity for the London show and based the layout loosely on Cream Pages. The Dialogue transcends the book when it's exquisitely wedged on the wall at eye level like this. Things change, man.

RL That's easy to say when you've just been commissioned solo to make a text statement for this show by Without You It's Nothing, which is more like a proclamation in reality. This is what I've been trying to point out. The balance of our collaboration has shifted.

TK Excuse me, but I do have a notion that your actual physical form plays a not insignificant part in The Manifestation. I don't recall objecting to that. If, through my absence, there happens to be an evolving approach to the occasional statement, with my name attached, this is hardly newsworthy. Perhaps a generic title for this slight departure will ease you off. I suggest The Word.

RL Can I think about it. I might prefer something like Joint Statements, which is what I thought we'd achieved with the shop window and door texts. Anyway, it looks like we're incorporating the staircase, and re-installing The Stumbling Block where the first version was sited, following the architect's health and safety recommendations.

TK Of course we're taking on the staircase, it's an architectural feature. We established this a while ago. An oblique space exquisitely designed by Tony Fretton Architects, also responsible for the Lisson Gallery and Anish Kapoor's new house. Every angle is a careful and minimal insight, every slope a leveller. We're here for a reason.

RL I gave you that information. Are you name dropping? I was the artist in residence, remember. I roamed the whole space while the building work was going on, even locating a piece under the floor of the sculpture studio, as well as The Stumbling Block. So you're right, this does seem appropriate.

TK I hope you're not trying to justify yourself. That would be just too sad. Or I might need to remind you that, although The Perfect Image has its roots here at SVA, it came to fruition in collaboration with me in Thailand, dialogue proving productive once again.

RL Who's doing the justifying now? And isn't that a typographical term? Leave The Stumbling Block to me again, why don't you. I'll see you at the Opening on Friday.

TK Speak tomorrow. Keep it up. The location leaves me no option. I'll take it. Rapt in heavy velvet.

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