onsdag den 5. november 2014

Kenneth Goldsmith om konceptuel litteratur

I'm always shocked at how narrow the discourse around contemporary writing is as compared to contemporary art. Contemporary art has long staked a space in hybrid practices, ones that are both conceptual and identity-based, ones that at once reify and question notions of identity, destabilizing and deconstructing them in compellingly complicated ways. Think of the practices of Adrian Piper, David Hammons, Jimmy Durham, Kara Walker, Gran Fury, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Martha Rosler, Tania Bruguera, Jayson Musson, Sharon Hayes… the list could go on and on. I can't imagine that any one of these artists would self-identify as "avant-garde" nor do the critical discourses around their work invoke that term. Why does the discourse around contemporary writing still feel the need to cling to binaries like "mainstream" and "avant-garde?" Somehow by upholding such binaries in a critique of binaries only serves to reinforce those same binaries.
Conceptualism was not prescriptive. While the discourse surrounding such a predominant mode of writing appeared hegemonic and canon-building, the writers involved in the movement had no such agenda; ours was a response to technology and offered one way of framing language and its new modes of slippage in a new landscape. As Sol LeWitt so elegantly wrote in 1967, "I do not advocate a conceptual form of art for all artists. I have found that it has worked well for me while other ways have not. It is one way of making art; other ways suit other artists."
The form remains open to reimagination, reinvestigation, and reframing (I'll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women, for example).
In the end, conceptualism was another tool in the writers' toolbox, no more, no less.

torsdag den 18. september 2014

søndag den 3. marts 2013

No more retinal poetry!


No More af Vanessa Place

No more lines on the luminescence of   light, of   whatever variation.
No more elegies of youth or age, no polyglottal ventriloquism.
No more songs of raw emotion, forever overcooked.
No more the wisdom of   banality, which should stay overlooked.
No more verbs of embroidery.
No more unintentional phallacy.
No more metaphor, no more simile. Let the thing be, concretely.
No more politics put politically: let the thing be concretely.
No more conditional set conditionally — let the thing be already.
No more children pimped out to prove some pouting mortality.
No more death without dying — immediately.
No more poet-subject speaking into the poem-mirror, watching the mouth move, fixing the thinning hair.
No more superiority of the interiority of that unnatural trinity — 
you, me, we — our teeth touch only our tongues.
No more Gobstoppers: an epic isn’t an epic for its fingerprints.
No more reversals of grammar if as emphasis.
No more nature less natural; no more impiety on bended knee.
No more jeu de mot, no more mot juste.
No more retinal poetry.