Darboven speaks of her procedure as "writing."
"I both write and draw...because 'no more words' is a writing process, it's not a drawing process. The writing fills the space as a drawing would."*In addition to numerical forms, Darboven marks time with a handwritten, lower case "l" which appears as a regularized yet cursive loop repeated over and over and called "daily writing." The blank rows of script are carefully counted to mark time just as the numbers do. Writing is thus a spatial measure of temporal duration. In replacing words with abstract rows of up-and-down strokes, Darboven invokes text but eliminates meaning, description, and narrative. The page upon page of writing has grown to include abschreiben or writing out, the process of copying literary and scholarly texts or encyclopedic information not of her own creation.
*Hanne Darboven as quoted in C. Van Bruggen, "Today Crossed Out," Artforum XXVI/5 (Jan. 1988): 72.
PHOTO: Detail from One Century, Hanne Darboven, Dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1988.
For introductions to the major principles of Hanne Darboven's work, please click on the days of the week (e.g. M, T, W). For additional information, click on another date of the month.