Taylor Le Melle

A wooden sculpture in Sylvia Wynter’s The Hills of Hebron

The second instalment in our series of texts newly-commissioned alongside Artes Mundi 10 is by the writer and curator Taylor Le Melle. Departing from a right-up-close reading of a pivotal passage in Sylvia Wynter’s The Hills of Hebron (1962) – the anticolonial philosopher’s only novel, set in Jamaica in the period before its liberation from British rule – Le Melle evocatively poses and provokes questions around our understandings of art-making and mis/recognition in conditions of precarity and capitalist exchange.

Darn gan yr awdur-guradur Taylor Le Melle yw’r ail yn ein cyfres o ysgrifau gwreiddiol yn ymateb i bwysleisiau thematig artistiaid Artes Mundi 10. Gan edrych ar bennod o unig nofel yr athronydd gwrth-goloneiddio Sylvia Wynter, The Hills of Hebron (1962), sydd wedi ei osod yn Jamaica yn y cyfnod cyn ei ryddhad o reolaeth Prydain, hola Le Melle gwestiynau cyfoethog a synhwyrus am ein dealltwriaeth o gelfyddyd a cham/gydnabod mewn cyflyrrau o ansicrwydd a chyfnewid cyfalafol.



The transaction which changes the designation of the whittled Hibiscus wood into a commerce object is one of translation. It didn’t change: different agents merely named it with different signals. I can accept this because European (coloniser-favoured enlightment) philosophy is the only one I know of which demands hard lines, categorisations and delineations of this type of object. It is an ideology which asks, What is it? Rather than something like: What is it doing right now?



Read the full text here | darllennwch y gweddill fan hyn

Taylor Le Melle‘s mother can’t stand when ‘polymath’ appears in artist statements: ‘please stop using twenty-dollar words!’ she pleads. But mother, is polymath not more to the point than stringing together a life with endless slashes, writer/publisher/infrastructuralist/herbalist/designer/curator/…./…./? (You can read more writing at lemelle.substack.com and find other resources at not-nowhere.org.)

Gall mam Taylor Le Melle ddim goddef pan mae’n gweld ‘polymath’ mewn bywgraffiadau artistiaid: ‘please stop using twenty-dollar words!’ Ond mam, nad yw’r diffiniad yn fwy addas na cheisio diffinio bywyd mewn slashes di-ddiwedd, sgwennwr/cyhoeddwr/isadeileddwr/perlysieuydd/dylunydd/curadur/…? (Mae modd darllen mwy ar lemelle.substack.com ac adnoddau eraill ar not-nowhere.org.)