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I am the God of Bunnies by Michael Basinski, 2011, Vowel Animals by Michael Basinski, 2011, Fluxorox by William R. Howe, 2001, Shock Shelter Fix Space by William R. Howe, 2001, Some Fugitive Elysium by Dee Dee Kramer, 2001, mmimmummeconicinnotesmeconica…by John Toth, 1998, Twords by Andrew Topel, 2012
Collection of Ginny O’Brien and Michael Basinski

The Language of Birds by Geoffrey Gatza, 2007, Ric Royer’s Avant-garde Poetry Coffee Cup. #1 by Ric Royer, 2001, Physical Language Laboratory No. 3, 1997
The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries

An Exquisite Corpus: Vectors of Visual Poetry

On View Friday, December 14, 2012–Sunday, May 12, 2013

Curated by Steve McCaffery, Karen Mac Cormack, Michael Basinski, and
Paige Melin

An Exquisite Corpus: Vectors of Visual Poetry affords a brief history of visual and concrete poetry, in which the aesthetic emphasis is placed on the visual arrangement of  poetic language.  This alternative to standard linear poetry occupies an exciting space between poetry and visual art and some of it — “intermedia” poetry — blurs the distinction between writing, graphic art, video, dance, music, and digital media.

The exhibition demonstrates the dramatic shifts successive new media have brought to the concepts and definitions of poetry. The exhibition includes an example of a seventeenth-century pattern poem, contemporary concrete, eye poems (abstract typewriter art), and poem-objects from the miniscule to the more substantial. Visual poetry, while extending both the context and the possibilities of communicational codes, still remains in language, and where a letter resides, be it in a mutilated abstract form or situated conventionally in a word, then the invitation to sounding it becomes an insistence. Consider this introductory exhibition not only as an opportunity to see and reflect silently on the work before you (the general code of conduct in art galleries), but as a challenge to murmur, howl, even to scream the work before you.