There is a joke that is sometimes made about Jacob Wren’s new book Families Are Formed Through Copulation. The joke is that Families Are Formed Through Copulation is a book designed to convince the reader not to have children (or if they already have children simply not to have any more).Why should the reader not have children? Well, first they should honestly try to assess just exactly how they feel about their own parents. If this proves insufficient perhaps they might also contemplate the fact that the world we live in isn’t particularly fit to bring a child into. Keep in mind this is only a joke. Mr. Wren is well aware of the fact that essentially he will convince no one. That people will continue to have children regardless. Families Are Formed Through Copulation is also a book that continuously hovers on the verge of becoming a novel, focusing on a distorted family situation that can certainly be read as that of a single family but just as easily can be seen as the multiple, overlapping experiences of many different families, perhaps even all families. This narrative ambiguity parallels the thematic moral ambiguity of the extreme situations the characters continuously find themselves within, never losing sight of the fact that our feelings towards our own families are some of the most personal and intense emotions we are capable of experiencing.Finally, and most ironically, Families Are Formed Through Copulation describes what happens when one such family comes into contact with a particularly convincing and conflicted conspiracy theorist, sharply parsing the paranoia and media-saturated secret service logic of the times in which we live.
About the author
Jacob Wren creates literature, performances and exhibitions. His books include Unrehearsed Beauty (1998), Families Are Formed Through Copulation (2007), and Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed (2010). As co-artistic director of Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART, he co-created the performances En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize (1998), and the HOSPITALITÉ / HOSPITALITY series including Individualism Was a Mistake (2008), The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information (2011), and Every Song I've Ever Written (2013). International collaborations include a stage adaptation of the 1954 Wolfgang Koeppen novel Der Tod in Rom (Sophiensaele, Berlin, 2007); An Anthology of Optimism (co-created with Pieter De Buysser / Campo, Ghent, 2008); Big Brother Where Art Thou? (a project entirely on Facebook, co-created with Lene Berg / OFFTA / PME-ART, 2011); and No Double Life For The Wicked (co-created with Tori Kudo / The Museum of Art, Kochi, Japan, 2012.) Wren travels internationally with alarming frequency and frequently writes about contemporary art. Follow Wren at http://www.radicalcut.blogspot.com and http://jacobwren.tumblr.com.