2nd- June 30th 2006
the visual poetry works of:
this show is curated by Reed Altemus
SPECIAL opening night (June 2) performance of Sound Poetry pieces. Read by Myles Robert, Scott Spear and Shea Mowatt.
will happen at 7pm
Are your poetics non-linear? Sick and tired of poetry which sits on its ass on the page and only reads left-to-right , line-by-line, top-to-bottom? Looking for an alternative to the segregation of word and image so prevalent in poetry and visual art of the past thirty years? Think the visual element has been neglected in the oral tradition of poetry? Like visual art that comes from a literary background? Then visual poetry and this show might be for you.
Visual poetry's ancestry dates back 75,000 years to the rock paintings of Blombos Cave in South Africa. But it's probably best known though from the concrete poetry movement of the 50's and 60's Concrete was concerned with the materiality of language. It was reductive, even minimalist, and it was alphabetical. But the visual poetry of the past twenty years has outgrown concrete's rigid program, developing into a rich field of visio-verbal experimentation which uses many different types of writing systems as well as including asemic or wordless works. It's also characterized by its marginality and, before the days of the world wide web, had few outlets in publishing and thus was most visible in the international underground circuits of mail-art. The web has made a big difference to today's visual poetry as web zines featuring visual poetry have flourished in the past few years. The artists we've selected for this show all have something unique to offer. Luc Fierens, from Weerde Belgium is an agent provocateur of collage and is a very active mail-artist. Geof Huth's typographical and calligraphic work has its roots consciously in the concrete tradition. Carol Stetser's xerographic collages often find their context in her ongoing engagement in book art. Jim Leftwich's series the "Haute Couture Death Text Images" consists of digital manipulations of high fashion photography with embedded news media excerpts which highlight his feminist and anti-war concerns. Nico Vassilakis works in both visual and textual poetry, is a founding member of the Sub Text Collective and curates the Northwest Visual and Concrete Exhibition. Reed Altemus is a Portland artist who works in the adjoining fields of copy art, artistamps and visual poetry.
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