Instruction Manual

Lucia della Paolera

Price Freely distributed at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, May-July 2011.
Format One-colour lithographic print on 250gsm silk paper.
Year [2009] editioned in 2011
Edition 1000
Dimensions 840 x 594 mm

Brooklyn-based writer Lucia della Paolera constructed the poem Instruction Manual in 2009. It has been editioned as an A1 lithographic print by information as material to inaugurate a series of four poster poems that will be presented in conjunction with our residency at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, from April 2011. della Paolera’s text derives from a simple procedure: it is a chronological list of all of the directives given to the author in one day. On that day, these charges happened to amount to three hundred and sixty-nine.

Instruction Manual mounts a grammatical satire on the pressure of the imperative. Here, normally diffuse social demands are condensed by the form of the numbered list into a contained manuscript that is mass-reproduced for aesthetic consumption. The text has an unsettling effect on accountability; we do not know wherefrom the commands issue, nor what could or should be done in answer. Both the origin of authority and the site of responsibility are lost as power relations shift and slide in sequences that are at once slapstick and solemn. Instruction Manual is a primer in persuasion.

This first poster poem in the series will be freely distributed from the April 28 launch event onwards at the Whitechapel Gallery, and a framed copy will remain on permanent display there until July 2011.

Instruction Manual

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