Carl Gent

Riddle 82 (or 78) (2021)

About this work

Riddle 82 (or 78) came out of a performance Gent gave to close a late 2021 exhibition at Wysing Arts Centre with Kelechi Anucha and Linda Stupart. In the cold dead of a rural December afternoon, Gent sat inside the cab of a tractor on the Centre’s higher field, sang and played a rendition of folk tune Tip The Boat Over, while this PowerPoint presentation and pre-recorded audio of the text played on a flat screen TV in the windscreen. The PowerPoint foregrounds the writing itself, a combination of different readings and translations / transliterations of an extract of Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich, the anchorite whose 16 visions of the crucifixion of Christ spirited away her unknown illness and swept her into lifelong literacy. The earliest surviving example of a book in the English language known to have been written by a woman, the PowerPoint also combines her writing with an Anglo-Saxon riddle where the possible solutions are either a crab or a harrow.
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