Tower Street, East London, 1975: a crumbling block of artists’ studios shaped by the myth of male genius but maintained by Connie, a female caretaker struggling to find her creative voice. Cut to 2017, and this same building is now luxury apartments, the new home of young couple Jane and Tam. Yet their fresh start is jeopardized when a chance discovery brings past secrets to light.
Drawing on interviews with artists, photographers and administrators, as well as autobiographical elements, Innominate is a mystery story about privilege and power, in which buildings (and bodies) alternately nurture, trap, and entangle their inhabitants. Perhaps it is only by dissecting the architecture of a place that we can truly understand what happened there.
“Naomi Pearce pinches, peers and pulls at the ragged edges of gentrified corpora. Through a hybrid form of feminist forensic and experimental mystery writing, she guides us to a world behind, a world that has been forgotten.” – Maria Fusco
“Innominate is both a novel and a collaborative act of memory, desire and political hope: ghost architecture, re-fleshed.” – Bhanu Kapil
“Naomi Pearce deftly conjures the contrasting worlds of present day and 70s London and wraps them around a poignant mystery.” – Nicola White
“A classic of local archaeology, lifting the particulars of place and persons into the dimension of a driven and crafted poetic. A building that is both grounded and fictive releases its psychobiography.” – Iain Sinclair
“Such a smart, self-assured debut ... A beautiful take on London's underground art scene of the 1970s, and how it haunts the gentrifiers of the 21st century. Naomi Pearce is a writer to watch.” – Juliet Jacques
Naomi Pearce is a writer and curator. Recent exhibitions include Almost Conceptual at Matt’s Gallery and 56 Artillery Lane, Raven Row, (co-curated with Amy Budd), both in London. Her writing has been published by Art Monthly, Happy Hypocrite, Kunstverein Munich, e-flux Criticism and The White Review, among others. From 2018-2022 she was a member of the Rita Keegan Archive Project, a social history and curatorial collective, whose recent activity includes an exhibition at South London Gallery and the publication Mirror Reflecting Darkly with MIT Press. Innominate is her first novel.
Published by Moist Books, 2023.
120 x 190mm
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