Mère Ubu, the once and future Queen of Poland, is a personage loosely derived from the writings of Alfred Jarry. In the Père Ubu plays, she is something of a Lady MacBeth, pressing her ungainly and incompetent husband into ill-advised military debacles in her thirst for power and prestige.
We now live in the age of Ubu—a time when ‘truth’ is rendered irrelevant (if it ever was otherwise), and smug arrogance has become the cloying perfume of the day, arising like the stench of decay on all sides. Whether we like it or not, Mère is perpetually with us, and upon us. I, Beth E. Wilson, have simply acquiesced to this fact, and several years ago accepted the job of serving as Mère’s long-suffering amanuensis.
In the process, she has become me, and me become she: it makes no sense to sort out the alter of the ego here. The one produces the other, which in turn produces the other, and yet again the other, a sort of misery-en-abyme if you will, but one which is dedicated to locating the exceptions to whatever rules there are, to inquiring after solutions to all the imaginary problems that have been cast before us. (That, my friends, is ‘pataphysics.)
And so this virtual parking space, this digital catalogue, this, well, website has become something of a repository for traces, temporary occupations, ideas worked out and left behind. An imperfect anti-monument to an unmonumental struggle, it brings together a few things that stand as moments when the tenacious, weed-like roots of my imagination found temporary purchase in the occasional ruptures stumbled upon inside and outside of academia, the art world, and reality itself. Always on the margins, I continue to traverse this terrain vague, making it up as I go along (as we all do).
Beth E. Wilson
Amanuensis to Mère Ubu