A passionate reader and lover of language, Irma Blank was born in 1934 in Northern Germany. In 1955 she met her Italian husband with whom she moved to Sicily. The gap between the two countries and the two languages was immense – it led her to question the adequacy or rather the inadequacy of any language. She then realized ‘that there’s no such thing as the right word’ – even in one’s mother tongue – to really convey meaning/feeling.
Blank’s entire body of work, that crystallized into series, is based on language and therefore literature – whether emptying books from their meaning or creating a new form of nonverbal, asemantic writing, for instance by creating drawings that mimick the layout of existing books/newspapers or using a utopian alphabet. Closely linked to her personal story, but simultaneously emanating from the migrant and displaced condition, her work is the result of a matured conceptuality, but asserts itself in the corporality of production; it engages with a utopic community of hypothetical readers, but it is also in its nature, a soliloquy.