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: http://www.heartfineart.com



(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.)


October 18, 2013

The Text Festivals - the Book



On occasion, I think, people interested in the ideas we have been working with in Bury have been stymied by my preference for the next project rather than the past project. But the Text Festival has been breaking new ground since 2005 so maybe inevitably it has developed a history that needs to be acknowledged. The Text Archive developed by Holly Pester through the AHRC funded partnership with Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre responded to  that imperative. And now hot off the Plymouth University Press, "The Text Festivals: Language Art and Material Poetry". You can acquire this must-have publication from here or via Bury Art Museum shop (slightly cheaper). Tony Lopez has done a great job - not least getting me to do my bit for it. As he wrote in his blog the field of enquiry that the festival has opened up urgently needed focused secondary work which can inform and develop the ongoing dialogue. Phil Davenport's seminal anthology The Dark Would clearly operates in this capacity.

The new book includes new essays by me, Derek Beaulieu, Christian Bök, James Davies, Philip Davenport, Robert Grenier, Alan Halsey, Tony Lopez, Holly Pester, Hester Reeve (HRH.the), Carolyn Thompson, Carol Watts and Liz Collini - whose work is also on the cover. (Indulge me, I can't resist quoting the Plymouth site): 

"It is a remarkable phenomenon that the foremost among recent sites of this interrogation of boundaries has been a series of festivals located in Bury, on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. World leading artists and poets have been brought together in a range of exhibitions and performances that demonstrate a new and productive collision of different cultural enterprises and expectations."

Anyway, now the Light Night is done and the Sculpture Centre announced, my next job is completing the curating of the future Festival opening in May 2014 (which got delayed by the other two); being part of this 'remarkable phenomenon' should be in your diary already.  


October 15, 2013

The Dark Would Northern Launch

THE OTHER ROOM presents the Northern launch of THE DARK WOULD Anthology of Language Art, featuring:

MIKE CHAVEZ-DAWSON
LAWRENCE LANE
JO LANGTON
CAROLYN THOMPSON
NIGEL WOOD

DATE: 16TH OCTOBER 2013, 7PM
VENUE: THE CASTLE HOTEL, 
66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE
FREE

Mike Chavez-Dawson is an artist-curator based at Rogue Artists’ Studios, Manchester, UK. He instigated and curated the critically acclaimed shows ‘Unrealised Potential’ and David Shrigley’s solo show entitled ‘HOW ARE YOU FEELING?’ for the Cornerhouse (2012–13). More recently his extraordinary proposal ‘Beyond the Medium, A Rake’s Dream…’ made the 100 favorite proposals for Artangel ‘OPEN’ 2013. He also judged (alongside Laurie Peake, Paul Stolper and Iain Andrews) and curated the neo:art prize 2013.

Laurence Lane is an artist and curator. In June 2000 he co-founded The International 3, a gallery space in city centre Manchester that developed out of the city’s artist-led activity. He has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, and as a curator he has commissioned, produced and presented work by many artists involved in a broad range of contemporary art practice.

Jo Langton is the author of ZimZalla object #015, PoeTea, consisting of handmade bags with text instead of tea. Her work has appeared in Department3.A.MOtoliths, and Catechism: Poems For Pussy Riot. She also sub-edited and appeared in The Dark Would language art anthology, and has a MA in Experimental Writing from the University of Salford. She might have a cheeky chapbook before autumn, providing koi carp and terror cats don't steal her soul along the way.

Carolyn Thompson is an artist whose interests lie in developing pre-existing narratives into new adaptations that reference the original in either content or form. She uses found objects, images and printed matter (text, books, maps and diagrams) as source material, in order to evoke a sense of memory, history, nostalgia and humour. The resulting adaptations are new visual versions in the form of artist’s books, collages, drawings and installations that reflect, or work in contrast to, the stories, histories or language of the original ephemera, whilst responding to sculpture, drawing and architecture. http://www.carolynthompson.co.uk/

Nigel Wood is a poet and musician based in Manchester, where he edits and publishes Sunfish, a magazine of exploratory poetics. His chapbook, N.Y.C. Poems, was published by Knives, Forks & Spoons Press in 2011. More recent poetry has been published in DepartmentGammagblankpages and The Red Ceilings.

September 11, 2013

Bury Sculpture Centre

News of developments will be thick and fast over the next few weeks; lots of things are coming to fruition – finally. 

The first is the announcement that Bury’s exhibition spaces are being expanded, with the creation of the Bury Sculpture Centre. Following the Borough Library Review, large new spaces have become available and given our long term leadership of the Irwell Sculpture Trail project, the logical or maybe visionary conclusion is to create an international focus for sculpture in Bury. We've got some Arts Council funding and the first year’s programme well developed. Barring accidents we should open the new venue with the Text Festival – and who better to inaugurate in the context of Sculpture and Language than Lawrence Weiner. (How many more reasons do you need to be at the festival opening weekend?) 

After Lawrence's show there'll be an exhibition investigating the artistic dialogue between East and West (building on our experience and networks in China/Japan and Europe.) And big moment in this will be the venue’s first international conference: the  European Sculpture International Forum. I’ll be heading off to this year’s event in the Hague to start preparing for that. Along with an exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art in the Bury Art Museum, the two shows will be part of the Manchester Asia Triennial.

So there’s my excuse for not blogging recently: I’ve been busy.


July 06, 2013

Helmut Herbst



I heard the sad news that my old friend Helmut Herbst died a couple of weeks ago in Estonia. I first met Helmut in 2000. I had been working on the Irwell Sculpture Trail for about 3 years, commissioning new works and every now and then an artist I was working with would say that they were working on a similar project in a town called Waiblingen in Germany. After it had happened one too many times, I thought I'd have to see who the other curator was. So I arranged to visit Helmut in Waiblingen. I arrived at his office after dark on September evening and the first thing he did was open sparkling wine. We immediately got on personally and professionally sharing the challenges of curating in a satellite town (in his case Stuttgart) which appears marginal in geography and in artistic profile. Over the years since we have done various partnership projects and joint commissions. In 2007, Helmut retired from the Waiblingen Stadt Museum, somewhat disillusioned with that context as local politicians were increasingly pressuring him to curate art education rather than art exhibitions. His parting show in the new Waiblingen Gallery, which he led the development of, was Turner's "Liber Studiorum" drawn from Bury's collection. After retirement he had many project ideas (and repeated the Turner show in Paderborn and Apolda in 2010); he moved to Estonia and built himself a new house and a new life there. As well as being a curator with a global vision, he was an artist. In our flat we have 3 of his works - the first one, I remember he did in the flat. He'd arrived for dinner with some lavender he'd picked on route and created a 'watercolour' painting with the plant and the after-dinner coffee. He had a text work in the last Text Festival too. 

In his freedom from an institution, Helmut and I continued to discuss ideas for future shows and he was always positive despite the growing threat of his cancers. Helmut was a very good man, I will miss him.

June 13, 2013

Of Time And

15 June – 14 September 2013

Bury Art Museum is pleased to present Of Time And, an exhibition of new
and existing works by Evangelia Spiliopoulou.


Evangelia Spiliopoulou's work proposes new aesthetic and poetic functions for everyday objects and tools. In her series of digital Office Drawings, made with Microsoft Word Office software, she uses her knowledge and skill in classical observational drawing to create graphs and diagrams reminiscent of technical illustrations or instruction manuals. But rather than practical information, the drawings convey a sense of disorientation, like puzzles in which words and graphic elements seem to contradict conventional logic. They are maps of a mental process of free association and an intuitive response to the play of meanings suggested in words.

Her new work Thermohygrograph2, created for this exhibition, achieves a similar effect by the most economical means. It consists of two identical devices for measuring temperature and humidity in museums put side by side. The seemingly tautological gesture amplifies their practical purpose for the functions of the museum while also transforming them into an artefact on display and allowing our imagination move freely between the two.

Evangelia Spiliopoulou (b. Greece, 1981) initially studied drawing and fine art in Athens and in 2009 completed MA Fine Art at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University

Spiliopoulou currently lives in Manchester and is represented by Bureau.
 A special launch of Evangelia’s exhibition is being held at Bury Art Museum on Saturday 15 June, 14:00-15:30. This is the perfect opportunity to meet the artist and find out more about her work. Refreshments available

June 04, 2013

Android



Preview: Friday 7th June
Exhibition: 8th-14th June, 1-5pm
4a Piccadilly Place, Manchester

Live Performances from Naomi Kashiwagi & Sarah Sanders, plus artist talk 8th June, 2-4pm.

Things are not what they first seem... Carefully chosen artists have been invited to respond to the theme Android, originating from the Greek words 'andro' meaning man (or human) and 'eidos' meaning like or likeness. These new artworks are varied in media, and together, create an intense visual and audio experience to captivate the viewer.

The inspiration for this show comes from the cult classic Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott (1982) and Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang (1927).

Woven into this discourse is a new work by Beth Ward The Mountain Has a Mouth (An alternative book cover illustration for Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick). Incorporating elements from the novel such as: Mars, a mountain and clouds of dust. Antony Hall has considered the life-like qualities an android would potentially lack and developed a kinetic work called Lung. Lung attempts to accurately replicate the phenomena of human breath. Daniel Fogarty has created a set of concrete sculptures that play to the language of the face, a cover, a shelter, an object looking back at you. Evi Grigoropoulou presents Semi Precious a perfect dissimulation of likeness.

Artists: Matthew Bamber, Tom Baskeyfield, Sandra Bouguerch, Margaret Cahill, Nina Chua, Julie Del’Hopital, Paul Dodgson, Pat Flynn, Daniel Fogarty, Evi Grigoropoulou, Ben Gwilliam, Antony Hall, John Hood, Ian Irvine, Laurence Lane, John Lynch, Daksha Patel, Evangelia Spiliopoulou, Beth Ward, Denis Whiteside and Jacqueline Wylie.

This exhibition was realised by Sarah Sanders, curated by Julie Del’Hopital and Ian Irvine with assistance by John Lynch.

androidexhibition.wordpress.com

May 26, 2013

(Venice Biennale): Helmut Lemke: the Surplus Value of Sound

On Tuesday, I head off to Venice for the Biennale - lots of previews, parties and meetings planned. I have a particular interest in the show at the Palazzo Bembo as I wrote the catalogue introduction for Helmut Lemke's exhibition there.
Here is that essay: 

Since the 1970's Helmut Lemke has developed site-specific concerts, performances and installations. His endeavours have taken him to concert halls and outdoor markets, to Galleries and Museums and to the frozen seas off Greenland, to Function Rooms of Pubs and to International Festivals. He has presented his work all over the globe, collaborating with other Sound Artists and Musicians, with Dancers and Scientists, Visual Artists and Architects, Poets and Archaeologists, Performance Artists and Wildlife Rangers. He has experienced many audible sounds as well as those made audible through creative interventions, and fundamentally come to understand the site the sound requires.
Through these investigations into sounds, some obvious, some familiar, some to be found, he has become a Cageian presence, not in the sense of musical or poetic lineage but as the value proposition conduit for a contemporary insight into sound itself. Lemke has observed that sound is behind you when you gaze toward the horizon: he places us in that moment, and constructs for us the awe of our relationship between the sound he unveils and the phenomenology of presence in that environment. This pursuit and representation of the fundamentals of sound is driven by his conception “über den hörwert”, a Marxian analog of the surplus value of hearing. His aim to represent a specific environment through its sounds at a specific moment requires listening with all senses. Accepting the impossibility of resonating the actual sounds heard in the moment he heard them, he constructs a conceptual aural present. Lemke talks about the tools he uses to communicate sounds heard to non-witnesses of the original, the remarkable articulation of his line, - raw and skeletal - poetry, visual poetry, onomatopoeia, soundpainting, photography and sound recordings, uncovering the democracy of microphones. He states his attempt to describe, to reproduce the experience of sound itself, its thickness, the ontology of being in sound, but this is not accurate: in fact, he becomes the act of hearing. In the offering of his approximations, objective and subjective improvisations, Lemke evokes memories of sound, and more, posits the second hearing, ours, in a new existential space, as a synesthetic osmosis. His quiet declaration of inwardness tunnels us into him and our ears are replaced by his. To know of the source of a sound helps to imagine it. Lemke is the source of the sound because whether or not his listeners really hear what he has drawn, written and document, verification lays in his trust in the audience’s willingness and capacity to absorb the inspiration and imagination of being. Reflecting declarations of purpose from Lawrence Weiner, William Carlos Williams et al., Helmut Lemke makes art useful to us, we can cross the bridges he has made for us.

The Palazzo Bembo approximation is a remarkable opportunity for a duplicate experience. In the unique of the Venetian city soundscape, we experience Lemke’s hearing of the site in the site. By stopping to hear and becoming the well, catching all of sound, Lemke has made himself the disembodied microphone, the universal hearer/ signifier of the sounds in the forest that no-one is there to hear, the teacher, the artist, the beekeeper

May 14, 2013

The Other Room



The Other Room is putting on an extra, one-off event at The Town Hall Tavern, 20 Tib Lane, Manchester, M2 4JA on Saturday, 18th May, 5 pm start. The readers are derek beaulieu, Tom Jenks and Holly Pester. Details of all three readers are below and previews of each will appear on The Other Room site (http://otherroom.org/) in the coming weeks.

derek beaulieu is an internationally-recognized text artist, conceptual writer and literary critic. He is the author or editor of 15 books, the most recent of which are Writing Surfaces: The Selected Fiction of John Riddell (co-edited with Lori Emerson) and Please, No more poetry: the selected poetry of derek beaulieu (edited by Kit Dobson) both of which are published by Wilfrid Laurier Unversity press. He is the publisher of the acclaimed smallpresses housepress (1997–2004) and no press (2005–present) and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design and Mount Royal University.

Tom Jenks co-organises The Other Room and administers the avant objects imprint zimZalla. He has produced and performed four collaborations with Chris McCabe for SJ Fowler’s Camarade project, the most recent of which, I Boris, is a contemporary re-working of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. Recent publications include a p.o.w. broadside slugs/snails. A 100 poem sequence with accompanying visuals, streak artefacts, is forthcoming from Department Press. He has published two collections with if p then q (A Priori and *) and his third, items, a 1000 fragment verbivocovisual sequence, is being launched at this event. He is a PhD student at Edge Hill University, where he is researching digital technology and innovative poetry.

Holly Pester is a London-based sound poet and researcher. Her work experiments in frequencies of speech, song and articulated noise. She has performed at text, art and poetry events including the Prague MicroFestival (2012); Text Festival (2011); Serpentine Poetry Marathon (2009), and was a writer in residence at this year’s dOCUMENTA 13. She has just completed a practice-base PhD in Sound Poetics at Birkbeck, University of London. Holly Pester’s collection, Hoofs, was released with if p then q press in 2011. More at http://www.hollypester.com/

April 20, 2013

The Text in The Dark Would

As is often the case nowadays, I have been too busy with other things to blog: one of which is starting work on the next Text Festival - opening 2 May 2014. In the meantime between the last festival and the next two projects have kept the Text Festival evolving - The Text Archive mentioned in my last blog, and Phil Davenport's The Dark Would. Phil has been an active and indispensable force in all of the Text Festivals - from his curation of the Bob Cobbing show in 2005 to the homeless poetry project in the 2011, and now The Dark Would. I have had many discussions with Phil during the creation of the anthology but take no credit for his significant achievement. A little close to it, I find it hard to review so in the first instance share, with his permission, Scott Thurston's response:   




"My appreciation of this anthology comes from my point of view as a contributor. Whilst this means my goal is not critical engagement, I hope to provide an insight into the workings of the book based on my involvement. That said, in many ways, the anthology comes equipped with its own critical apparatus through the extensive range of materials made available in its massive second volume, available as a kindle download. But more of that later. 


The striking cover of the 320 page paper volume offers a superb evocation of the Dantean pun in the title in the form of Marton Kóppány’s ‘The Secret’ – three interwoven sets of parentheses with a space in the middle which suggests an opening into a forest. The black and white purity of the cover design extends throughout the book, which has no pagination and orders its authors according to their year of birth, beginning with Rosmarie Waldrop (b. 1935) and ending with Leanne Bridgewater (b. 1989). Selections are small – mostly one or two pages – and this, and the black and white presentation throughout, not only makes the book a tremendously inviting environment to dive into but also underwrites its most fundamental curatorial proposition, that is, to produce an anthology that celebrates the continuum of language-based creative practice between visual art and poetry. Presenting all the material in black and white offers a visual analogy between text and image that is far more persuasive than it might have been in colour. 
In a book with over a hundred contributors, the standard is remarkably high, and the quality of reproduction means visual work in particular can be inspected in great detail. One of the real discoveries for me is Harald Stoffers’ (b. 1961) intricately-written letters in German which traverse an undulating landscape of stave-like lines suggesting waves, wood-grain or even digital mapping. Stoffers is an outsider artist like Ed Baker (b. 1941), whose impacted doodle-like constructions have a distant feel of Philip Guston and Clark Coolidge’s collaborations. I certainly find myself responding to work that encodes the haptic into its presentation, whether it be the cool dissections of space of Tony Trehy (b. 1960), the spidery writing-drawings of Satu Kaikkonen (b. 1967) or the elaborately torqued explosions of Eric Zboya (b. 1974). There is huge range of work however, which includes many senior artists more established as poets such as Charles Bernstein, Maggie O’Sullivan and Robert Sheppard, alongside those more established as visual artists such as Richard Long, Lawrence Weiner and Shirin Neshat.

My experience of contributing to this anthology was unlike any other I have been involved in. Philip Davenport came to me with his own requests and interests and encouraged me to show work that was more emergent, provisional and indeed haptic in its presentation. I submitted fragments of work in process – the very early scratching out of an area between movement and language that I’ve since been developing – and put my trust in Davenport to make his selection. This trust was amply returned. Davenport’s approach to editing is integral to the vitiating risk of this incredibly ambitious volume. On the one hand it is what makes it a very personal project for him in his fiftieth year – as he explains in his introduction – but on the other it is also what allows the anthology to emerge as more than the sum of its parts: less a series of individual contributions than a single visual essay taking a long panning shot of contemporary cultural production.

The kindle volume brilliantly utilises the digital form to achieve what any anthology editor wants – more room! Creative work here both extends the coverage of artists and projects within the paper volume but also introduces new artists and a section which includes longer works such as the remarkable collaborative text ‘River Riting’ by Rebecca Cremin and Ryan Ormonde, and other pieces by Richard Barrett, Ken Edwards, Steven Waling and Carol Watts. However, where the kindle volume really comes into its own is in the collection of a large number of statements of poetics, shading into critical writing and literary journalism, alongside nine substantial interviews. The scope of this section is astonishing and impossible to summarise – it is a hugely generous resource. Particular contributions that stand out for me include Alec Finlay’s autobiographical exegesis of his one-line framed poems; Tim Atkins’ bracing account of his appropriative poetics of translation, which also turns out to be informed by Buddhist thought; Carol Watts’ fascinating critical response to Richard Long’s work and Matt Dalby’s detailed account of his creative practice – accompanying more images of his stunningly beautiful ‘poem boxes’. The interview with Ruth and Marvin Sackner is intriguing on their relationship to their famous archive – now so massive there are objects within it that they have not seen for 25 years. I was struck by how Bob Cobbing – a key figure for Davenport – is paid tribute both here and in the terrific interview with Kenneth Goldsmith. The conversation with Goldsmith strikingly shows him rejecting the proposition that the conceptual art work need not be made – a key aspect of the poetics of this most industrious of artists.

It is however to Tony Trehy’s ‘Art and Text’ that one might turn for an important critical orientation in the field that Davenport surveys – to recognise the extent to which the use of language in visual artists can be underdeveloped, and the lack of awareness in the art world of the contributions made by poetry to language art. Taken together with Trehy’s statements elsewhere about his curatorship of the Bury Text Festival –a key context for Davenport’s project – in which he takes poets to task for not always entering into dialogue with visual artists, one gains an important sense of what is at stake in the enterprise of The Dark Would, and the dizzying array of potentials that it might release.

In conclusion then, I’ll hazard that this remarkable achievement sets out a legacy before it has even hit the floor. I hear it as a plea to develop the cross-generic approach even further so that it incorporates more totally the whole gamut of the arts – to encourage conversations not just between artists and writers, but between musicians and sculptors, between dancers and poets, between film-makers and performers, and to ultimately break down these generic distinctions altogether.

The Dark Would has shown the way – lose yourself in it. " (Scott Thurston - 11 April 2013)


The thing I would like to add is a thought about the relationship of Dark Would and other developing projects to what could be called a new phase of the Text Festival. When the Text Festival started in 2005, as the Art Monthly observed - emerging from the interstices of singularities that serve to rupture and renew normative discourse - 
it was driven purely by a burning question about how contemporary poetic practice engaged with language use in other artforms - primarily on that first occasion, conceptual art. It's main exhibitions included an ahistorical but interweaved presence of precursors such as Cobbing, Hamilton Finlay, and an engagement with the practice of LANGUAGE poetry which (while there is no suggestion of 'discovering' the 'movement's' achievements) it seemed to me at the time were not sufficiently influential or acknowledged in British writing. Someone might argue that the latter is not accurate, but that is how I viewed it at the time - with the emphasis in my perception on 'sufficiently'. 2009 and 2011 happened and what they were aimed to investigate can be found elsewhere, I don't need to write a history here. The point here is more that the Text was driven from one to the next by a fascination with what is next, what is possible, what might be interesting or significant then/now. The next Festival will have the same drive. I am being asked whether it will have a theme: in my thoughts I have a simple phrase that keeps returning: "The Languages" at the moment programming and selection somehow relates to that, but frankly the Text doesn't have themes only areas that are interesting. The criteria for selection is that it is doing something, investigating something. But the difference now is that the Festival has acquired a history. The creation of the Text Archive is creating a resource that language artists can work with, respond to and grow. Tony Lopez is currently editing a new book examining the implications and achievements of the Festival and there is the Dark Would. The Dark Would takes the ideas and experiences of the Text Festival forward in a way I couldn't have done. 

February 26, 2013

Archiving the Text

Almost since the first Text Festival (back in 2005), I have had requests from researchers and artists to access the Text Festival Archive. Generally, while trying to be supportive to their needs, I have put them off 'accessing the archive' because it didn't exist - except in dispersed boxes, cupboards and filing systems. I hasten to add that the art collection - works commissioned, acquired, etc - arising from the festival was safely stored in the vaults. But this didn't get away from the absence of an archive. There was a reason for this: generally, I am more interested in what I am going to do next rather than what I have previously done. Over the years the occasional requests for access have increased because there have now been 3 festivals plus various projects between - most recently the Text show in Tampere, Finland - people interested in studying/using the Text naturally assume that it must have a significant volume by now. It does, but is still not in a usable form. 


So this week we were able to announce the news that we have joined up with the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck, University of London to establish a national Text Archive with a Cultural Engagement Award from the Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supported by the National Archives Council.  Most of the credit is due to Carol Watts for pulling the bid together. But the thing that makes the project interesting to me is the prospect of making the Text a resource for new thinking, new creative practice. We have appointed Holly Pester to be the Text Archive Curator and in addition to establishing the archive, we will be seeking donations and acquisitions that make it even more representative of the international practice of language across artforms. 

The project also involves two public events underlining the exchange between Bury and Birkbeck: a colloquium held in the Museum in May 2013, and a colloquium and installation in Birkbeck's Forum for the Arts in early July. I've no doubt that it will generate future elements for the next Text Festival in 2014.  

February 04, 2013

The Dark Would Preview


THE DARK WOULD language art anthology will be previewed at the Southbank Centre in London on 6 Feb, 8-9.30pm. Material from both volumes will be shown and there will be readings and a panel-led discussion around the issues raised by the anthology. A gallery launch event for both volumes will take place in April, again in London. 

Preview of a new, pioneering anthology of text artists and poets, which includes work by over 100 contributors including Richard Long, Fiona Banner, Maggie O' Sullivan, Tacita Dean, Ron Silliman, Shin Tanabe, Marton Koppany, Tom Phillips, Tsang Kin-Wah, Charles Bernstein, Susan Hiller, Tony Lopez, Caroline Bergvall, Sarah Sanders, Kay Rosen, Rosemarie Waldrop, Robert Grenier, Me, and many, many more. 


Join us in the Southbank Poetry Library for a set of readings and a panel discussion by artists and poets. Chairing the discussion and fielding audience questions are THE DARK WOULD editor Philip Davenport, poet Carol Watts and artist Liz Collini. Readings of commissioned pieces by Tim Atkins and Rebecca Cremin with Ryan Ormonde.

(photo credit: Nick Leyland  
)

January 15, 2013

Bird Sheet Music



Bird Sheet Music by Kerry Morrison, Helmut Lemke & Jon Hering
Discordant nature in harmony
Performed live – for one day only – in the Foyer, Tate Liverpool
Sunday 20th January
Performance times: 2.30pm, 3.30pm, & 4.30 pm
Live performance by a.P.A.t.T. Orchestra with Helmut Lemke

Sound installation by Helmut Lemke and Kerry Morrison, The Art Dock, Tate Liverpool