May 31, 2009
May 27, 2009
Since getting out of Downing St, I've been too busy to do much thinking here. Still focused on finishing the new book, which is on target now and should be completed in Basel next week. Otherwise, I seem to have been tied up in funding issues: I came up with the idea of an international Sculpture Triennial for the North West, which is now going after about £1.5million from different governmental funds; and then there have been various funding applications related to the partnership with Tampere, Finland.
May 22, 2009
Art is capable of depicting the impossible or invisible: hope, pain, joy, fear… states and emotions sometimes inescapable with ill health. We will explore some of our most powerful and yet most elusive moments - times of survival.
Paracetamol Soup, the recent arthur+martha exhibition of work made in healthcare settings, was reviewed in The Guardian (article by Penny Anderson and photostream at http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/apr/29/arthur-martha-artists ).
"a blessing: daffodils
the light, a relief
a relief (the darling)
it comes slowly."
(speak poem, Cherry Tree Hospital , 2009)
May 17, 2009
In similar questioning of perception, expectation and reality, Magnus Quaife takes images and interrogates them directly on that ground. Primarily working in watercolour, Magnus has a series of rural idylls, some rough re-paintings historic landscapes, featuring the box cabinet of one of the first super-computers used to simulate the real world; or seeing images of May 1968, and finding instead images of quirky images of life of the period, which converted into faded graphics accumulatively create an unreal era of non-memory.
Other artists so far confirmed for the show are: Sarah Sanders, Brass Art, Jesse Ash, Maurice Carlin, Amy Pennington, Rachel Goodyear, Rachel Well, and Alison Erika Forde. There will also be a sound art event during the show. It was interesting talking to the 3 artists that none of them had visited Bury Art Gallery since its innovative programme began (and that's probably nearly a decade now!); just as they don't situate their practice in the local and therefore why should they, Bury positions itself in the international context; However, my thinking is that the curatorial practice assumes that important artistic debates are moved forward more significantly through the dialogue between artforms as well as within them - hence events like the Text Festival.
May 16, 2009
May 15, 2009
Lee Patterson, Matt Wand, Hainer Woermann
Chapman Gallery, University of Salford
Performances Saturday 16th May 7-11pm, Free
Exhibition open: Monday 18th May – Friday 5th June
‘a few left traces’ is a performance and exhibition concept initiated and curated by Ben Gwilliam and Helmut Lemke (both featured in the Text Festival). It will be taking place at the Chapman Gallery at the University of Salford as part of the European Night of Museums and is organized and funded in co-operation with the Arts Unit. Following on from a previous event in 2007 (then the silence increased), ‘a few left traces’ is both a performance event and a subsequent exhibition that unpicks sound/music as an Interdisciplinary Art Practice, bringing together thought and debate as part of the process of making.
On Saturday, the 16th May from 7pm to 11pm, 7 musicians and sound artists collaborate together on one communal surface (20ft x 8ft table). The invited participants are established artists from the UK and abroad. Central to the performance is making new improvisations and to try new collaborations between players who have not done so before. Risk and experimentation are important.
The Audience will experience a performance evening of various improvisations and collaborations that happen in different arrangements of performers.
It is from this performance that the exhibition will form as a document to the processes that took place within the collaborations.
A body of work will be left in the gallery that comprises of:
- Recordings of the process in sound, video and drawing, individually and as a whole and
- Collected objects left over from the sound generating events.
These 'Left Traces' are assembled and projected back onto the table as the exhibition, exposing the temporal and musical processes (traces) that happened in time.
More info at www.arts.salford.ac.uk
May 13, 2009
May 11, 2009
May 09, 2009
May 08, 2009
May 06, 2009
Ron’s Birkbeck reading had a more durational feel than his Bury reading because he read only two works: Quindecagon and the registration mark (Blogger won't insert the character as it appears in the book). It was a good size audience and there was a good question and answer session at the end. One of the questions was why it had taken so long for Ron to read in the UK and when would he read again. There has already been such massive interest in the plans for the Text Festival – so I can reveal that I have already begun to shape it and am negotiating with both Ron and Geof Huth to return with new projects. So if anyone out there has any ideas they have for the next one, feel free to propose them to me. After the reading, a group went for an Italian meal, where I mostly chatted to Marianne Eigenheer and Ron about Russia, Mexico, and American politics. And with Carol Watts about the plan to take a Bury Poems style Text Festival-on tour to some US venues. This morning I had an interesting conversation with Patrick Fabian Pannetta, continuing our (now-called) “Proxy Conversation” book project.
This morning before my train, I popped into Tate Modern (which is never a disappointment because I visit it with low expectations). Although I had gone to catch the Rodchenko & Popova and the Roni Horn shows, I got distracted by “Poetry & Dreams”
(a la Huth & Silliman) Books received:
Peter Jaeger – rapid eye movement (Reality Street Editions)
Wendy Mulford – The Land Between (Reality Street Editions)
I think it is instructive to look at the Royal/Establishment use of a different artform: visual art. Does anyone get irritated or angry about the Royal Portrait painters? Every few years a mediocre artist that we have never heard of gets commissioned to paint the Queen’s portrait. It is a news item and the only question inevitably is whether the painting looks like her, with the only question to the nobody painter being ‘what is she like as a model?’ It doesn’t register at all in the art world because visual art has an autonomy of purpose, intent and public-private economy which is driven by newness and the next thing (discussion of the Blairite access corporatism of the Tate & other Empires is too much of a digression here). So the nearest Monarch-Government can come to appropriating contemporary art is the Culture Minister attending the Turner Prize or super-star artists at cocktail parties at Number 10: a reflected glory that they can be modern and cool – a state artist would be kitsch. The idea that the Queen could announce that the Turner Prize winner will be designated the official state artist would be laughable, and the official portraitist is in the same way below even that. The anger at the Poet Laureate is often focused on the question of who it is and that there are so many more interesting poets who could do it better, but this is to lose the argument before it starts. The Poet Laureateship is itself the denigration of all poetry. Instead of anger, which exemplifies the artform’s weakness, maybe derision and laughter would be more productive, allied with counter-naming (as Ron Silliman argued in the Thinking Environment): So the post should generally now be referred to as the State Poet – call it what it is – or the Poet Lackey or the Puppy Laureate (although even Barney would refuse the Queen’s offer – Who am I kidding? if she included doggy biscuits, then like the poets who take the job, he will do anything – but at least he would have the transparent canine integrity and lack of conceit to be driven by the urge for biscuits rather than the pathetic obsequiousness of wearing their collar).
May 05, 2009
May 02, 2009
May 01, 2009
"Before I begin the briefing about the works in the show and the ideas behind it, I just want to say that in any career there will only be a few occasions in which you can say something magical happened, the people who you work with gelled together to achieve something remarkable. It has happen to me twice before in my working life; and now I can say it has happened for a third time. I'd like to thank you all for making this a special moment"
The Agency of Words opens tonight.
How to spell it antiquarian divestitures of fact and faction
the bubble that pops as it expands realization like the intake
of breath on a cold day the truth of neither ether Nora
what falls as rain arrives as water we see within the chalice
the frequency of a complex system repetition inspires preservation
instinct toward flight away from return the right of the left of
the rest arabesques of colour and the chairs in rows and tiers
the physiognomy of a clown at birth humour without teeth
teeth with teats their judgement and the interference haunted
by morning what goest away returneth again take a message
to Garcia y Vega notes written on palms text degenerated
by fronds Kafka knew the way to beetlehood though being
a cockroach seeing faster as ink blots seeing slower as it,
just interminable specific it each pencil of coincident
value a marker of meaning a maker of meant “Just one
thin meant?” a diminution of obsequies to an increase of word
a tendency to overestimate the importance of our own experience
on the hither side of any on the thither side of zither How long
does a moment require? flattened-out epiphanous justifications
decoherence, dreams and decay lotions and potions but