Another talented man fails publicly, we wonder…
A workshop designed in response to Make It New John, by Duncan Campbell
The publicity manufactured around John DeLorean, was uncomfortably worn by him and wore him down. The product of his design practice, the DeLorean motorcar, promised economic success then delivered financial scandal. By joining together polar images of DeLorean’s success and failure Campbell reviews the ethical, legal and political judgements made about DeLorean during the late 70s and early 80s then extends this public debate into an imagined conversation with the workers who built the cars.
The workshop used the essay, ‘On Success’ by Adam Phillips, originally given to student counsellors, to stimulate discussion on how and why events are evaluated in terms of ‘success’ or ‘failure’ and whether it is useful to introduce a softly flowing continuum between these two words. Writing exercises designed to reverse and challenge the evaluation of a given event as a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’ were undertaken by the students from perspectives of ‘distance’ and ‘closeness’ demonstrated in the work of Lydia Davis, David Foster Wallace, Frances Stark and Italo Calvino.
Adam Phillips, 'On Flirtation', (essay titled, On Success), Faber, 1994
Adam Phillips, 'Promises Promises', Faber, 2000
Lydia Davis, 'Varieties of Disturbance', (short story titled, The Fellowship), Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007
David Foster Wallace, 'Girl with Curious Hair', (short story titled, Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR), Abacus, 1989
Frances Stark, 'Frances Stark Collected Writings: 1993 – 2003', (short work titled, One Half Hour of Air), Book Works, 2003
Italo Calvino, 'The Night Driver', (reprinted in F.R. David), de Appel, Spring 2009
Participating MFA Art Writing students were: