Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title Not Yet There, Cocker's research enquiry focuses on the process of artistic endeavour, alongside models of (art) practice and subjectivity that resist the pressure of a single, stable position by remaining wilfully unresolved. Her mode of working unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches to producing texts parallel to and as art practice. Cocker's recent writing has been published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; Reading/Feeling (Affect), 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and as a solo collection entitled The Yes of the No, 2016.

Project/Publication: Borderlands

I am going to be working with photographer, Katja Hock, on a project that draws on our shared interest in border spaces. The project reflects specifically on Hock’s recent work around a series of woodland landscapes, based on her childhood memories of an area close to the border between Germany and Holland. It is possible that our collaboration will involve exploring the potentiality of verweilen, tarrying.

Below are some notes / images from from her recent exhibition, Stillness/Silence/Arrangements.

‘Walking through woodlands, returning to already photographed scenes, the photographs allow the viewer to linger, remain, and spend time creating a relationship between the photographs and their own imagination. The eye wanders between the scenes, acknowledging the reappearance of shapes, but they are slightly different than when seen before, reminding of time passed. It is the moments in-between, those voids between perceived time which cannot be shown that form and change memories and constitute the reading of the images. “For the important thing for the remembering author” as Benjamin remarks, “is not what he experienced, but the weaving of his memory, the Penelope work of recollection. Or should one call it, rather, a Penelope work of forgetting? (1)” (1). Benjamin, W, The Image of Proust in Illuminations ed. Hannah Arendt, Fontana Press, London, 1992, pp.197-210, p198

'Every site is haunted by countless ghosts that lurk there in silence, to be evoked or not. These absences stimulate the imagination, encouraging the viewer to fill in the blank spaces in the landscape.' Kraenzle, C., “Picturing Place: Travel, Photography, and the Imaginative”, in Searching for Sebald, ed. Patt. L, The Institute of Cultural Inquiry, Los Angeles, 2007, pp.126-145, p.138

'Memory encompasses neither the entire spatial appearance of a state of affairs nor its entire temporal course. Compared to photography, memory’s records are full of gaps. […] Memory does not pay much attention to dates – it skips years or stretches temporal distance. […] No matter which scenes an individual remembers, they all mean something relevant to that person, though he or she might not necessarily know what they mean. Thus, they are organized according to a principle which is essentially different from the organizing principle of photography. Photography grasps what is given as a spatial (or temporal) continuum; memory images retain what is given only insofar as it has significance. Since what is significant is not reducible to either merely spatial or merely temporal terms, memory images are at odds with photographic representation.' Kracauer, S, “Photography” in The Mass Ornament, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.), 1995, pp.46-63, p.50.

'When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousand of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. Hansel said to Gretel: “We shall soon find the way,” but they did not find it. They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep.’ Brothers Grimm, Complete Fairy Tales, Routledge, London, 2002, p.69