Fictional Stories for Fictional Art


'Fictional Stories...' is a collection of 9 theoretical/imagined artworks that are described through 9 separate fictional stories. Some of the stories are told from the perspective of a person experiencing the artwork first hand, whilst others are a set of instructions on how the piece should be set up and what could be expected as a reaction.


The initial inspiration came from composer Erik Satie. In the later part of his life Satie lived almost reclusively. During the last 27 years he resided in Arcueil, he had had no visitors. After his death, when friends went to his apartment they found it in chaos. Notably, there were 2 grand pianos; placed one on top the other, and in the upper piano they discovered was a hiding place for parcels and papers. In his apartment they discovered - in the pianos, in pockets of his suits, and other odd places - a number of previously lost, unknown, and importantly (for me) unfinished works and music sheets with instructive notes written across them.


This brought to mind a question about unfinished ideas, about the ideas that one imagines that are currently beyond the scope of either (a) the artists' current ability or (b) not achievable due to other extenuating circumstances. That Erik Satie had not only unfinished ideas as note forms, but instructions on how they could be presented began a thought experiment about the type of work I imagined myself to be pursuing, about the ideas that existed in my head that were often pushed back because they were not ready to be explored.


Looking back at this work, it is interesting to see the type of work that I chose to create fictions around. Prior to this, my practice mainly explored video and text yet the majority of the works in the book rely on audio as a key medium/component. And from this point onwards the majority of the projects have been to do with sound.


The first edition of the book is entirely made; written, illustrated, and bound, by hand. Each individual piece is its own individually bound chapter and all 9 chapters are housed in a fragile case tied with a shoelace. This edition was acquired by Chelsea College of Art & Design.

A second edition was made in 2008, this time typed and printed on tracing paper, hand-illustrated, and bound with a ribbon. This was acquired and included as part of the collection at Peckham Rye public library, however, due to its fragile nature this version of the book has since been removed and/or destroyed.


Edition 1 of the book, in its original form, is now part of the Special Collection at the Chelsea College of Art & Design Library.


The reference number for the book is 700.9242SHA


A PDF [text only] version containing 3 chapter excerpts is available to download below.


This version (made in 2019) has allowed me to edit and, more importantly, update the content.

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 © 2020 Amit Rai Sharma has existed since 2019 | Amit has existed a little longer than that