November 08, 2012


Installed this month on the Irwell Sculpture Trail, Tony Lopez's new text work After. This is one of three inscribed plaques installed in Radcliffe, Lancashire, along a footpath and a canal towpath near Radcliffe Metrolink Tram Station, part of the work After, also known as The Scattered Poem, a holocaust memorial piece that Tony has been planning for the last few years. The title After comes from Theodor Adorno: 'Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben ist barbarisch' (To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric) from Prismen: Kulturkritik und Gesellschaft (1963). The original poem is 28 verses, a particularly abstract piece that was composed using a text generator program that randomised vocabulary combinations from an original draft that he wrote on a visit to Providence, Rhode Island, in the late 90s. The program was run many times to produce a vast text and the results were then edited down to a tiny fraction of the output. This text was then finished work by means of editing and refining. 

Tony aim's to get verses and clusters of verses installed as far as possible from each other, so that the viewer sees only a fragment of the work. If you wanted to see more you'd have to travel, which would always put the work you'd already seen at a distance. The project is intended grow with new installations, extending the network and using local materials.

Rossendale stonemason Ken Howe quarried the stone, carved the lettering and installed the plaques in a retaining wall on a footpath and also on a bridge support on the Manchester, Bury and Bolton Canal towpath. The stones are located on the Sculpture Trail very near Brass Art's Falls the Shadow and Lawrence Weiner's Water Made It Wet.

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