Daedalus Street hosted a performative reading by the artist Tyler Coburn of his book Richard Roe, the fictional memoir of a legal person. The name Richard Roe is one of the oldest used in English law when the real name of someone is withheld, or when a corpse can’t be identified. Divided into seven fragmentary sections, the memoir gives voice to the legal fictions that creep around the margins of selfhood and that increasingly dictate the terms of politics and economics.
The reading explored concepts of personhood from legal, psychological and metaphysical perspectives. Richard Roe is a known unknown, a one-size-fits-all, a potentially everyone and actually no one. During the performance the script and copies of the book’s illustrations were left scattered in the space to be freely picked up by audience members.
Richard Roe is published by Sternberg Press and designed by Luke Gould.
Tyler Coburn is an artist and writer based in New York. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Yale University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Coburn’s writing has appeared in frieze, e-flux journal, Mousse, Art-Agenda, and Rhizome, among others. His performances, sound works, and installations have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; CCA Glasgow; Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp; CAC Vilnius; LAXART, Los Angeles; and SculptureCenter, New York. Coburn is the author of several books, including I’m that angel (2012); Robots Building Robots (2013), published by the Center for Contemporary Arts Glasgow; and Richard Roe (2019) and Solitary (2022), both published by Sternberg Press.
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