OZO! Zines #14: Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril Conversation

Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril Conversation Ottawa Zine Off

Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril (8 pages)

“Everything remarkable and beautiful is as difficult as it is rare.”

Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril’s very brief Conversation was one of the most interesting zines I picked up at the last event. A sparse and contemplative piece, Conversation is not about the specifics of a dialogue but the nature of conversing with another person, “the living thing we have created between us.” Presented as a triptych of conversations (with a friend, with a stranger, with a book), the moments Gauthier-Mamaril recounts are so minimal and personal as to seem banal, but the way she approaches them philosophically and in terms of layout intrigues.

Ottawa Zines conversation

The layouts challenge the conventional left-to-right reading sequence, jumbling the recounted words (“Do you want some tea?”) with reflections on the value of engaging or turning with someone else’s thoughts, the “life-giving” aspects of understanding and interpreting.

conversing with biblical text

Capturing the feeling of true conversation in that ephermeral, shock-of-connection sense may or may not be possible, but I found Gauthier-Mamaril’s efforts to do so appealing; she recommends readers perform the same “exercise.” I intend to.

JM’s JaM: Grizzly Bear – Speak in Rounds

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