Imogen Bunting 2

Imogen Bunting was a very close friend and her death is an injustice I cannot reconcile (there is no god, no reason, no meaning, nothing fair – etc etc). An astonishing (and yet no surprise) number of people came to the commemoration, and folks from Goldsmiths, from peace boats (Hannah), from the TUC, from the New School spoke eloquently and beautifully. Many many tears were shed.

I am keen to see something of this energy tapped (Duchamp wanted to measure the untapped energy of falling tears – IB would have laughed right here) and I want to see that depth of feeling translated into an ongoing activism that befits the revolutionary politics that Imogen herself espoused. However smilingly she did so, she was totally consistent. I will post soon more of her writing, and I hope there will be further publications from others, but in the meantime you can check a piece that was published in the journal Left Curve a few years ago.

The picture is of the quilt made of Imogen’s garments – I would be embarrassed to call this trinketization, but the way it captures a deeper sentiment and echoes with the book we were doing (that will be done) itself catches me in the throat.

(added later – there will also be a memorial in NYC, see here)

9 thoughts on “Imogen Bunting 2”

  1. When starting Goldmsmiths as a new student I found Imogen very helpful,reassuring and open to talk to. I did not know her that well, but I have nice memories of her.
    I am sure that she will be missed by many, and her memories will carry on through her writings and her work she leaves behind.


  2. Someone asked about scanning the material from the commemoration. If you email me I will do that today and send it separately.

    I can tell you a little about the event, from my perspective (which was obscured by tears not quite mopped up by Hannah, Jessica and Shao-loong’s tissue supply, but hey…) 240 people in the most picaresque place you can imagine in the english countryside – a school where she was born, as her parents worked/lived there. I spoke for a few minutes, of her writing, her time at Goldsmiths as best anthropology student ever (3 years straight first class marks) and how she was also its greatest critic (with reason, anthropology has its problems). About editing a book together, eating marmalade and toast in Marys cafe. I told people of cracking a bottle of wine she brought tomy office once just “before” a lecture (her mischief) and wondered why she wore those little crystal dots on the sides of her forehead for the whole of her final year. Other people talked about the many varied, amazing parts of her life. Mick Taussig came over too – we drove 4 and a half hours from London to get there (yeah Atticus), on the way back saw a perfect sunset over stonehenge, but there is still no way to make sense of it all. For Angie and Johnny, her parents, Freddy, her brother, and Jere, her bloke … I am thinking of them all the time.

    And still want to transmute this into some form of activist tribute – right now I am thinking that some sort of institutionalised ‘activist-in-residence’ programme might update the old worn artist-in-residence idea some places used to have. Stay tuned.


  3. I also would like to share with you a dream I had of Imogen on Monday night. Imogen, another New School student and I were sitting in a golden, sunny wheat field (very nostalgic, no?), and the three of us were chatting and catching up accompanied by lots of smiles and hugs. While I don’t remember exactly what was discussed, I did awake Tuesday morning feeling very much at peace and happy for the “visit.”


  4. To Annie, and others in New York:

    There is going to be a memorial celebration on Monday the 22nd of May at The New School.

    Contact me here for details. Use the “Contact” page.

    To John: If you don’t already have it, I can send the text that was read by Shao from Imogen’s New York friends…


  5. Dear Friends,

    Please join us as we embrace Imogen’s extraordinary life and our
    enormous loss at a memorial celebration.

    Monday, May 22nd
    The Orozco Room (7th Floor)
    New School University
    66 W 12th St
    New York, NY

    Invitation attached.

    P.S. There is no comprehensive list with which we can reach all of the
    people Imogen touched during her time in New York, so please forward
    this invitation to anyone who you think would like to attend.


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