Lettre de Derrida (deceipt, desire and the novel) 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 completing (or deferring - in classic Derridean fashion) what would turn out to be his final graduate seminar taught. He would never return to California. Jacques Derrida died in October 2004.
Notwithstanding the sudden turn of his own health, Derrida took time to write and return this personalized letter - addressing the matter of my graduation from UC Irvine with Emphasis in Critical Theory, which required a passing grade in his seminar. The letter was briefly lost in the move back to Canada, and years later, was unexpectedly and randomly discovered - as a 'found object' - among boxes of documents in storage.
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 strategic service of one's professional career, status and trajectory.