May 06, 2014

Text Festival 2014 - opening weekend (part 2)

Sarah Sanders great "I used to" on the gallery stairs

 Liz Collini work in progress
 Steve Giasson

Ron Silliman, Rachel Defay-Liautard and Marton Koppany 

Text Festival 2014 - opening weekend (Part 1)

I think this may have been one of the strongest Festivals so far and a successful opening weekend - great people, great installations and performances. 
 Jayne Dyer's 'Blood Sport' with Carolyn Thompson's 'The Beast in Me' in the distance.
 Derek Beaulieu's Dante window
 Me chatting with Ron Silliman and Derek Beaulieu (Peter Jaeger and Eran Hadas in the background)
 Ron Sillliman participating in the drawing shed installation
 Some of the staff team - everyone has worked very hard.
 Works by Simon Patterson, Riiko Sakkinen and Rachel Smith

 View into the Dark Would installation
The night Barney met Sarah Walters' Tommy

 Penny Anderson's Travel Bag in the foreground

Polari Mission exhibition in Bury Museum

May 04, 2014

Bury Sculpture Centre Opens

Opening speeches from me, Cllr Sharon Briggs (Mayor of Bury) and Ian Tabbron (Arts Council of England) - and Greville Worthingon [out of shot](Yorkshire Sculpture Park).

April 17, 2014

Bury Art Museum and Bury Sculpture centre

Just two weeks off the opening of the Bury Sculpture Centre and the launch of the fourth international Text Festival. Pulling the forthcoming programmes together has been one of the toughest workloads I can remember for various reasons beyond my control; but I think it is a programme to celebrate: I'll  expand on the individual aspects as it gets closer to the day, but I'm pleased to list some really great people involved in the Text: Lawrence Weiner, Ron Silliman, Phil Davenport, Simon Patterson, Riiko Sakkinen, Jayne Dyer, Caroline Bergvall, Penny Anderson, Jaap Blonk, Derek Beaulieu, Sally Labern & Bobby Lloyd, Tim Etchells, Sarah Sanders, Carolyn Thompson, Marton Koppany, Vanessa Place, Jez Dolan & Joseph Richardson, Peter Jaeger, Liz Collini, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Maria Damon, Juxtavoices, Rhys Trimble, Debbie Walsh, Richard Barrett, Tom Jenks, Bobby Parker, Lucy Harvest Parker, Tim Allen, Steve Giasson, Andrea Cotton, Carol Watts & Will Montgomery, Eran Hadas, Jorg Piringer, Rachel Smith, Erica Baum, Flo Fflach, Holly Pester, Rachel Defay-Liautard (that was the order I could remember them in I've probably forgotten someone). 

April 12, 2014

Arriving at the same place at the same time

The Text Festival has had a relationship with Lawrence Weiner since the very first one in 2005. Back then we commissioned WATER MADE IT WET and acquired his Horizon work from its original location in Hull, which he reconfigured to become Radcliffe Horizon.In the Festival exhibitions programme, we supported the public art works with a survey show of Lawrence’s poster art works.

Burned out after the insanity of creating a Festival that was 9 months long( never make that mistake again!), in 2006, I took a sabbatical to write 50 Heads. Within which the poem ‘Sculpture’ was my personal creative response to Lawrence.


0. The object of making your opponent weep descriptions
between the upper and lower structures in vertebrates
forming the framework of the mouth, containing the teeth,
the parts of tool or machine. That body language material
with the tongue intropunitive instead of angry, anger our
faults are most obvious as nothing hides them breasts
move as sacks of liquid dynamic contents. The knife
fixation on things in evaluation, of sweat-scented straps
forward and back in the infantile world of ready-made
values, woman, the happy or resigned slave lives allowing
both misogyny and visionary context. Scattering
amplitude internationally is that difference in any given
place. Choice language to present material realities,
histories that I only deal with divergent objects and all
translatable to stand outside a less human presence more
profound for their human attachment to non-living things
and construction of bridges to be crossed as opposed too
catalogued: 1

Lawrence read 50 Heads on the plane to the Venice Biennale and sent me one of his famous postcards with the aphorism ARRIVING AT THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME. At some levels true, others not. 

So in 2009 in Basel, I wrote the poem “Arriving At The Same Place At the Time” which was published on Veer in “Space The Soldier Who Died For Perspective” 

In programming the 2014 Text Festival who else but Lawrence Weiner could open the new Bury Sculpture Centre? And ARRIVING AT THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME is part of the installation. I think one of the things that the Festival does is create a space where artists from many different fields come together, opening dialogues and possibilities for new ideas, new exchanges, new works. So I suppose I could end this blog by asking: what new possibilities will open up for you, if you arrive in Bury at the same time as the Text Festival? 

March 12, 2014

Bury Sculpture Centre work in progress

Probably been the most intense period of my career, preparing on the Text Festival, planning the programme for the rest of 2014 and on into 2015, more projects in the Far East, and of course getting the Sculpture Centre ready.
As we pared back the old uses and abuse of the space, the thick layers of carpet and paint, something really beautiful has emerged. The space is exhilarating and some of the uncovered and restored Victorian detail is fascinating. The floor is magnificent. We open on 2 May with the preview for the Text Festival. 

December 03, 2013

THE DARK WOULD: language art exhibition

7th December - 24th January at Summerhall , Edinburgh
Launch (open to public) 7pm, Friday 6th December, 2013
Venue: Summerhall, Edinburgh, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
Entry: Free 

I'll be up in Edinburgh this Friday for the preview of the latest manifestation of Phil Davenport's "The Dark Would" Project. Significant poets and text artists involved in the two versions of the seminal anthology exhibiting works that cross the boundary of living and dying in The Dark Would: Fiona Banner, Richard Long, Simon Patterson, Susan Hiller, Sarah Sanders, Jenny Holzer, Richard Wentworth, Caroline Bergvall, Erica Baum, Ron Silliman and many others, including (perhaps with less significance) me. Unexpectedly Phil has included my small 2005 poetic homage to Blinky Palermo. Funnily enough when he mentioned his intention I had to take a moment to remember that I had done it but then again it was one of my first published pieces (with the kind support of Greville Worthington coming out as a limited edition).

The Dark Would uses notions of mortality to collapse old, dead categories (‘Conceptual Art’, ‘Concrete Poetry’, ‘Vispo’ etc.) repositioning artists alongside poets and outsiders, and freeing space for a new wave of practitioners. 
Summerhall and its Curator Paul Robertson are proud to host the world premiere ‘The Dark Would’ as part of its Winter Visual Arts Programme of this ground-breaking exhibition.

New work has been made especially for the show by Richard Wentworth and commissioned pieces include rorschach drawings by Mike Chavez-Dawson, made from the names of dead poets and live writing by Sarah Sanders. The Dark Would will also have 'answering' works by dead artists and poets including Stephane Mallarme, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Joseph Beuys, taken from Paul Robertson's Heart Fine Art collection which is based at Summerhall. For more information on Heart Fine Art:

(Exhibition contributors: arthur+martha, Fiona Banner, Erica Baum, Caroline Bergvall, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Maria Chevska, Matt Dalby, Philip Davenport, Steve Emmerson, Alec Finlay, Rob Fitterman, Steve Giasson, Susan Hiller, Jenny Holzer, Marton Koppany, Laurence Lane, Richard Long, Tony Lopez, Darren Marsh, Simon Patterson, Tom Phillips, Sarah Sanders, Ron Silliman, Carolyn Thompson, Carol Watts, Lawrence Weiner and Richard Wentworth.)