Narcolepsy is a disturbingly ambiguous novella in pictures and words by Max Pam (photographer) and Bob Charles (writer). A collision between image and text, it is a journey into a terrain where pathology meets boredom, where horror meets melancholic loss, and where the will to live meets a grossly heavy impulse to self-erasure. The book functions as a groundbreaking exemplar for how research can occur in a fully creative arena and capacity. This work is new take on writing and photography and what kind of narrative/creative possibilities they deliver. Bob Charles has created a fictional novella that effectively channels the energy of Pam’s works.
Pam, in turn, responded to the writing with dream-like drawings and together both artists found themselves in the midst of an intense creative partnership of an amazing visionary potential unlike anything they had experienced before. In this process they discovered that this call and response type of dialogue is the key driving aspect of the project. The work is innovative and novel because it confuses both word and text and, in effect, creates a new genre.
Narcolepsy radically delivers a process that shakes-up the form of the book to produce the art as book and the book as art. The book is a fully realised graphic vehicle. The ways in which the book operates as a series of closures and openings, also parallels the content of the book and amplifies it as an evocative, mysterious object. Narcolepsy is loaded with the poetics of sex and death realized through an exciting fusion of drawing, painting, text and photography.