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Lettre de Derrida (trouvé objet) 2014

lettre (210mm x 297mm)
enveloppe (114mm x 162mm)



In late spring of 2004, Jacques Derrida hastily left UC Irvine for Paris to be with his ailing wife, without finishing what would turn out to be his final graduate seminar. He would never return to California. Jacques Derrida died in October 2004.

Notwithstanding the unexpected turn of his own health, Derrida took time to write and return this letter - addressing the matter of my graduation from UC Irvine with Emphasis in Critical Theory, which was contingent upon a passing grade in his seminar. The letter was lost in the move back to Canada and the subsequent unpacking, and when finally found years later, was framed for safe-keeping.

A decade later, for the Faculty Exhibition at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the "found" letter - which includes information on the letter grade received - became my contribution to the exhibit. The gesture served as a pedagogical deconstruction of my critique of and participation in academic institutions marked by increasing fixation on GPAs, and by persistent mimetic desires to be associated with names of reknowned mentors, in the service of one's professional status and trajectory.

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