Clairvoyant of the Small, 2016


This series of miniature bronze theaters serve as tiny reliquaries for the Swiss novelist Robert Walser. Born in Switzerland in 1878, Robert Walser worked as a bank clerk, a butler in a castle and an inventor’s assistant. Although largely unknown during his career, a revival of interest in his work arose when, in the late twentieth century his writings from the Pencil Zone, also known as Bleistiftgebiet or "the Microscripts", which had been written in a coded, microscopically tiny hand on scraps of paper collected while in a sanatorium, were finally deciphered, translated, and published. A peculiar character, W. G. Sebald dubbed Walser a “clairvoyant of the small”.

“How small life is here

and how big nothingness.

The sky, tired of light,

has given everything to the snow.

The two trees bow

their heads to each other.

Clouds cross the world’s

silence in a circle dance”    

―Robert Walser,  from Oppressive Light