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2003

Secret Letters (Ivan Vladislavic pulished in Willem Boshoff Taxi-011)

Secret Letters

  • The Secret Letters and the Prison Hacks return Boshoff to the preoccupations of his secret journals like the 370-Day Project and Bangboek. Both these recent works deal with jail time. Secret Letters (2003) is made of thousands of texts printed on white cloth, crumpled into tiny holes, like hidden messages; and date-cards that record a range of public events, from the earth-shaking to the utterly mundane. Taken together there are 9 377 letters and cards: the number of days Nelson Mandela spent in prison between 11 June 1964 and 11 February 1990. The historical events lifted from the flow of time - the death of Winston Churchill, the death of Tickey the Clown - seem scarcely more significant than the trivial actions recorded in the 370-Day Project. What was Nelson Mandela or Walter Sisulu or Ahmed Kathranda doing on 31 may 1983, while Willem Boshoff ran the Comrades Marathon and carved a piece of kapok wood?