Romoland, a postmodern event conjoining feminist artist Judith Palmer and novelist Ben Stoltzfus, uses twenty-five art works as generative surfaces for a series of dialogues between a man and a woman. The images and the text explore the historical subjection of women by men, their deliverance through art, and the dismantling of cultural codes. Both texts foreground the voice of the Other as it manifests itself in the traces, lines, and cracks of speech—be they visual or verbal. The arabesques of the woman’s sensibilities oppose the squares of man’s authority. Her art speaks and his text sees. Together, they unveil another space between the pictures and the text—the body of bliss and equality—in a way that is ironic, comic, and playful.
Publication Date: 23 January 2018
LoC Control No.: 2017962314
Catalogue No.: 39WP-24-P
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 0.4 inches
Romoland's "originality lies ... in its gendered, multilayered, culturally allusive presentation of the compelling and complex encounter within and between picture and word."
–Roch C. Smith
Professor Emeritus, French, UNC-Greensboro, American Book Review
"Romoland is an amazing collaboration between two artists: a woman and a man, a wife and a husband. The woman's visual strategy, in conjunction with the man's witty 'ecofeminist' text, plots the liberation of women—persistently and playfully."
Associate Professor, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
"In this delightful work, received ideas about the separate domains of masculine and feminine, inner and outer, line and mass, visual and narrative art, ruler and ruled, master and servant are playfully and seriously inverted to reveal that our unconscious sexual coding of space, time and form is coming undone."
–Juliet Flower MacCannell
author of The Hysteric's Guide to the Future Female Subject
"Echoes in Romoland can be traced to Surrealism's use of dreams and the unconscious to create art, to the playful disruptions of Dada, and to the Situationists' conception of art as pollitical performances of revolt. [It] appeal[s] to ... those interested in the relations between ... fiction and critical reflection on the nature and purposes of the arts."
–Lynn A. Higgins
Edward Tuck Professor of French, Dartmouth College, The Comparitist
She is caught between his world and hers, between culture and nature, between quadruped and Cartesian logic, between straight, clear-cut male supremacy and the black, circular patterns of the unconscious.
- Ben Stoltzfus
JUDITH PALMER is a printmaker whose work is in the tradition of Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Richard Diebenkorn. She explores the language of art and the process by which art’s sign-system communicates its message-line, texture, color and image. Palmer collects “found language”-numerals, words, sentences-from streets, walls, or waste paper and transfers their photo images onto zinc plates. She combines these elements with traditional, more rigid patterns and techniques of etching. The result is a dialectic, a movement back and forth between spontaneously flowing arabesques that represent energy, aggression and rebellion, and the rigid, straight lines of confinement and restriction. This combined language of spontaneity and restraint generates movement and tension between the different parts. Form becomes content.
BEN STOLTZFUS is a novelist, translator and literary critic. He has received many grants and awards: Fulbright, Camargo, Humanities, Creative Arts, and in 1997, the Gradiva Award from NAAP for Lacan and Literature: Purloined Pretexts. He translated Alain Robbe-Grillet’s pictonovel, La Belle Captive, in collaboration with René Magritte, and The Target, a short fiction, in collaboration with Jasper Johns. Stoltzfus’ latest novel, Cat O’Nine Tails, was published in 2012. His study of Hemingway and French Writers appeared in 2010, and Magritte and Literature: Elective Affinities in 2013. He lives with his artist wife, Judith Palmer, in Riverside, California.