This lyric essay is a version of a paper I presented at Basic Talks at the Hugh Lane, Dublin in December 2018, and came out of recent research around stains, Ana Mendieta and transcriptions of otherness.
A stain; an unintended mark that, once made, resists removal. Inadvertent remnant and by-product, it is something made while we were looking elsewhere; evidence that our attention faltered, or that some vessel failed to function.
Signifying a loss of control, distinct for discolouration and measured by how permanently a fabric or surface has been altered, no one, it seems, sets out to make a stain.
This accounts, in part, for its expressive power.