Carolyn Thompson, “After Capote: When Truman met Marlon”

Carolyn Thompson
Whitby, United Kingdom

After Capote: When Truman met Marlon
altered book
6.3 x 4.3 x .98″

Artist Statement

I am a visual artist living and working in the UK. My research and practice are grounded in the materiality of printed matter. I use found books, images and archival documentation as source material, exploring the content or narrative of such matter through manipulation and appropriation in order to alter the meaning and understanding of the information at its most fundamental level. I develop this into new renderings or adaptations that reference the original in either content or form by employing editing, re-writing, drawing, printing and craft processes.

These adaptions are visual versions that reflect the stories, histories or language of the original ephemera in the form of altered books, drawings, prints, collages, installations and textile pieces. They are hybrids that lie somewhere between conceptual art, narrative writing and more traditional craft, encompassing the ideas or skills of all three.

Beyond the UK I have exhibited in Istanbul, Ljubljana, Melbourne, New York, Porto, Prague, Venice and Vienna in galleries and institutions as varied as Laurence Sterne Trust, UK; Sculoa Internazionale di Grafica, Venice; Center for Book Arts, New York; MAK Austrian Museum of Applied Arts & Contemporary Arts, Vienna; National Technical Library, Prague and Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne. My work can be found in a variety of collections including Penguin Books, London, MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Teesside University Artists Book Collection and the Laurence Sterne Trust amongst others.

After Capote – When Truman met Marlon

In 1956 Truman Capote interviewed Marlon Brando in a Kyoto hotel room. When his interview ‘The Duke in His Domain’ was published in the New Yorker in 1957, Capote’s version revealed an insecure and vulnerable Brando. The actor could have passed off the writer’s words as an elaboration of the truth, however Brando purportedly admitted that the ‘little bastard’s got total recall. Every goddam word, he remembered.’ The pair never spoke again.

In 2018 Penguin republished the interview in their Penguin Modern box set. Given the intriguing relationship between the writer and the actor and how Capote managed to persuade Brando to be so open with his personal life, I initiated an astrological relationship compatibility report, which compares and contrasts aspects of a couples characteristics based on their birthdates, to see how they would fair as both friends and lovers. Extracts from this report have been typed and sewn as footnotes into the original text where pertinent. These new texts highlight or examine either the characteristics of one of the two men, or their reaction to the other, with often-humorous results.

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