Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Rebecca La Marre | Love is the Language that Sex Speaks

Rebecca La Marre 
Love is the Language that Sex Speaks
London, UK: Ma Bibliothèque, 2018
44 pp., 17 x 10.5 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Partly inspired by the death of a close friend and collaborator, and partly by the Pasolini film Decameron, the artist book Love is the Language that Sex Speaks explores "secular ways of grieving and material-driven approaches to text production."

"He disappeared. I got a call from the Vancouver police, they said that he was missing and then a month later they found his body,"  La Marre told the CBC, in 2019. "And it was very difficult. I mean, there's not really any words to describe what that's like. But what really became clear to me in that time was how private grief is and how difficult it is to share. Then, at the same time paradoxically, how it connected me to all of these other amazing people that were involved in his life."

La Marre then began to think about a scene in Decameron where a crowd of grieving Italians line the streets to mourn the death of a saint. Decameron is a 1971 anthology film based on the 14th-century allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio. It is the first film of Pier Paolo Pasolini's notorious Trilogy of Life. 

"The people were connecting to one another through their emotions but in the midst of their grief, a group of pickpockets go through the crowd stealing their wallets."

This image became a point of departure for the book. The material is unattributed, derived from passages in books, magazine articles, film and television, as well as overheard conversations. La Marre collected phrases over the course of four years, assembling an "argument for what a secular approach to grieving may look like."

The title is available from Anagram Books, here, for £7.50.


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