Ferrara deux (Faits divers)

Ivan Cheng


Artist Novel, 15 x 22 cm, 136 p., language : English, publisher : self-published, ISBN : N/A.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2031/2).

Literary synopsis

Faits Divers (faits divers) are the various reports in a news bulletin, miscellaneous human interest stories, theorised by Roland Barthes as ‘total’ and ‘immanent’ information. Ferrara Deux (faits divers) scrolls around the discovered corpse of a talented street musician named Landau, mangled and sealed into vacuum bags in the walk-in of a modern Italian-American restaurant. Street performance is content for an attention economy, playing on authenticities and profiting from recognition.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The attempt of the novel reformulates selections of performance texts (Standard Stare, Christine's Bullet, Dopo Oracle, Corpse Halo, Evangelisms, Clarities Bridges, Haunted House, Phantom Cigarette) from 2018–20 into the highly accessible format of a murder mystery novel. Drawing from an interest in fan fiction’s methods of augmenting and eroticising a fan’s commons of characters, the plot centres around the murder of a street musician – a busker, exterior to a waged form of labour. Ivan Cheng begun to write an essay around the relationship of busking and public space to online quarantine streaming in relation to a writer’s grant from Montez Press. The novel’s title invokes the celebrated Italian renaissance city and Roland Barthes’ theorisation of the now antiquated various reports of a newspaper; the artist's approach to this writing project was to move the previously oral into printed form, while also reflecting (mid-lockdown) on the precarious nature of physical presence and the possibilities for dematerialisation.

This novel was written for a group exhibition in Amsterdam, and accompanied by ‘reading rooms’.

Novel's website

Ensembles View all

Actors View all