Holly Pester

Now we are in the Spring Term, there are a whole range of artists that are being bought to us via our Wednesday artist talks at the university.
Holly Pester looks at the figures, methods, thoughts, compositions and strategies of her work in order to create. She has a relationship with research, poetry and is interested in the role of the subject and the author. There are several objects that which she focus’ on and which orientate her writing and reading. On the other hand, Pester enjoys creating her own way of creating, and engaging with each on of these in unique ways. These objects of focus and ways of creating can be interchanged and switched. Pester believes that there s an unfixed order between idea and material, and where the author steps into this. Pester, however, does not want to overstep these boundaries.
One of Pesters’ main inspirations throughout her works is Hannah Weiner, and has enabled her artwork and thought process. Weiner suffered from schizophrenia and imagined words wherever she looked, and eventually coined the term ‘Clairvoyancy’ for this experience. This was put into her work, turning an experience or bodily state into a composition of work (a book). ‘The Fast’ is the experience of where Weiner locked herself in her flat, and starved herself for several weeks. This enabled her to induce a state of mind where she began to hallucinate objects and animals talking to her. As Pester researched Weiners’ work, she found that she began to create a connection to her. When in the research, or archive space for so long, and being so involved, there was a feeling of agreement when Weiner wanted to move into the kitchen sink so she could ‘piss and drink at the same time’. The affect of the archives, the archive material and the materials that you work with, have a profound affect. This led Pester to writing about hallucinations in a node.
Hallucinations are part of Pesters’ life, as she admitted that she auditory hallucinates. This happens when she is in the state between sleep and awake. It is a realm to think of thoughts differently, and where “the voices confuse the sense of myself”.
Hallucinations can somewhat lead to gossip, both of which are considered methods by Pester. “A telephone drama of prolific call, horizontal speeching and an epic gossip” is a piece that was displayed in a telephone box, which is ‘a tank of reserved otherness’. This audio piece was very erratic, and made you give over the power of yourself to the other. Pester found that telephones meant friendship, as friends were often talking on their phones. It was through these conversations that it was also found that they are a space of practising politics of you. The gossip is a feminist node of knowledge and mode of dissemination.

“Friendship as a site of energetic gossip”.

This led Pester onto a book project, involving the special collections at Goldsmiths. Gossip was used as an archival and reading methodology by mixing and matching content from different sources. In a way, this was a fanfiction of artwork and archives. This was a book of poetry and experimental text, finding a discursive way around the text.
Common Rest was a series of tracks that used lullaby as a method and material to draw upon. Pester worked with other artists to produce lullabies, outside the domestic normative space. The energy and dynamism between singer and the song was protrayed through these pieces. Pester kept the spellbinding part of the lullaby, but also highlighted the menace that they have. Many of these touched upon subjects and items that were used in previous works, while working in conjunction with other artists. These lullabies then progressively became experiemental sound pieces including somewhat everyday and childish sounds, taken into an abstract sound context in a slightly disturbing lullaby. Sounds included brushing hair and scratching the carpet.
From this came a sense of nervousness, which became a state of resistance and a node in Pesters’ work. As it was a category of thought and what to think about, the pieces became an opposition to nervousness.
Abortivity came from one of the Bronte sisters’ obsession over  love letters, wrapping them in oil-covered cloth, wax sealing them in a glass bottle and buries them next to haunted ivy. It is also known as the decreativity and the new ability to create, by loving something so much that it almost becomes a raptured construct. In this written piece (see below), Pester also mentions the enclosure riots, literally digging in, along with the gesture of sounds and elements of posture.

like history this sliced-up worm carried on in both directions
I know tee, I have found thee, & I will not let thee go
They dug and buried
arrests were made
giving birth by a hedgerow I ask the hedgerow what it feels
like to be broken into
It was versus we should’ve sung
bring back my
I doubled up

Is there a dead bird in you?
– no
You’re a strike-through line
dived over your sitter to the next incur
Ask me. Do I end here. I fail. I drink a foot. I ask the wall,
What plot did you sneak
to improve the noun for staff?
to slur a rebel’s speech
livers split    out pours solution
– a worm
ask it

Leave a Reply

Subscribe for the latest art updates in my newsletter