Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SIGHT/SEEING @ SAM, Thursday 16 July

There is not such a great difference between construction and destruction. What I'm trying to do is to create poetry through destruction and I think it is beautiful. –Niki de Saint Phalle

The challenge, of course, is not the actual destruction of the painting itself, but rather its transformation into something else. –Hélio Oiticica

Curated by A. K. “Mimi” Allin in response to SAM Special Exhibit TARGET PRACTICE

Live performance by avant-garde musician Andrew Stauffer
Live poetry performances by 13 remarkable poet
SAM | Brotman Forum | Special Exhibit Galleries
Thursday 16 July 2009, 7:30–8:30PM

Curator: A.K. “Mimi” Allin turns one of Seattle’s most talked about special exhibits into an avant-garde collaboration between poets, composers and musicians. Target Practice, on view now at SAM Downtown, transforms into language, music and finally text on the floors of the museum, in this vanguard event on Thursday 16 July 2009. Watch as 13 poets and 1 very special musician play.

Background: 2 weeks ago, 5 Seattle poets (Hugo Bliss, Vanessa DeWolf, Renee Risher, Margaret Roncone and Galaxy Saskill) took a walk through the exhibit with avant-garde guitarist/composer/blind musician, Andrew Stauffer. Each poet spent 15-minutes with Stauffer, relating select works from the exhibit to him in unpracticed, spontaneous language. Stauffer then reteated to his studio where he worked feverishly to prepare a musical response.

Performance: Tonight, Stauffer (pictured above) premieres his response, in a site-specific composition in the SAM galleries for July’s SAM/Word. 5 poets will be seated upstairs, in the galleries of TARGET PRACTICE, listening and responding to a recording of Stauffer’s music. 8 others will listen and respond right here in the Brotman Forum as Andrew Stauffer performs live, also starting at 7:30PM.

Goals: To examine the ways we experience, absorb, process and re-work art. It likewise wants to explore the kinds of collaborations possible for doing so: audio-visual, visual-verbal, poet-musician, sensation-shape. Sight/Seeing also hopes to get at the heart of the question-- Why respond to artwork at all? Isn’t just looking enough?

Poets: The poets participating in tonight’s performance are excellent examples of mixed discipline artists. They write poetry, they make music, they paint and draw and perform. Poets include Rebecca Elliott, Mike Hickey (2009 Seattle Poet Populist pictured above), Jacob Jans, Joseph Kelly, Jed Myers, Doug Nufer, Arne Pihl, Renee Risher and Monica Schley. A younger set of poets, assisted by their very own artist-parents, will be among those responding to Stauffer’s live performance in the Brotman Forum. These include poets (parents): Hugo (Clinton) Bliss and Galaxy (Sage) Saskill. Can't wait to see the results.

Deconstruct: 2 July: 5 poets take Stauffer on 2hr walk-through
Reconsruct: 3-15 July: Stauffer composes original score
Deconstruct: 16 July: 12 Poets turn Stauffer’s music into text
Reconsruct: 16 July: Stauffer performs live at SAM

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lenin Poems Ch(e)apbook - A Public Pouring

Just another Independence Day in Fremont

Comrades! At 10AM on Saturday 4 July 2009, armfuls of the freshly published Lenin Poems Chapbooks (tiny, accordion-folded booklets with potato-printed covers) were poured over the Lenin Statue in Fremont. I repeat, there were witnesses! Chapbooks were assumed by the public! Poems were read and poets celebrated! People marched about aimlessly, shouting, "It's hollow! It's hollow!"

To the Lenin Poets and those whose work was selected for these tiny throwables! Chapbook poets include: Roxanne Baechler-Gill, Patrick Bentley, Lou Contreras, Rebecca Elliott, Thomas Hubbard, Christopher J. Jarmick, Joseph Kelly, Carlos Martinez, Jed Myers, Peter A. Nelson, John Persak, Cindy Peyser Safronoff, Charles Potts, David Sandberg, Michael Schein, Judith Skillman, Nick Williamson, Chris S. Witwer and two students from Hamilton International Middle School, Anita and Ethan. Congratulations to these poets and a big thank you to all poets who submitted work and supported the project.

The Official Lenin Poem
One special poem was chosen to be bronzed and put with the statue in Fremont. This Is Not V.I. Lenin by Rebecca Elliott was chosen by the Lenin Poem judges after a blind reading through the 59 poems received. Rebecca Elliott's 5-line poem (shown below), will be bronzed and placed with the Lenin Statue sometime later this Fall. We are now just starting to collect funds to cover the cost of bronzing. If you wish to donate, send $5 or more (in cash or check) to: A. K. Allin/600 N 36th St #210/Seattle, WA 98103. Estimated cost of a bronze plaque is $275. Thanks for your help.

This Is Not V.I. Lenin

This statue is hollow. Inside are six inches
of water in a ditch along a country road
just outside the small village of Russia,
Ohio, a boy in a threadbare sweater,
his palms in the mud.

-Rebecca Elliott

Rebecca reading her poem.


Gregory Crosby
Born in Michigan, Gregory Crosby spent his formative years in Las Vegas, where for more than a decade he was an art critic, columnist and cultural commentator. His poems have appeared in several journals, including Court Green, Jacket, Rattle, Poem, [sic], Pearl, BigCityLit, The South Carolina Review, The Red Rock Review, Stirring and others. He is the author of three chapbooks: Twenty Poems (1996), Revenge of a Mortal Hand (1998) and Satan’s Skull Glows White Hot (2000). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York, where he won the 2006 Marie Ponsot Poetry Prize. Most recently, he was a finalist for the 2006 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.

Vanessa DeWolf
Vanessa DeWolf creates interdisciplinary poetic works of text-based performance. Her work often combines narrative and poetic language with visual and movement processes. Her training: figure skating, M.A. in playwriting at Boston University under Nobel prize winner Derek Walcott, somatic practices, alternative dance, improvisation, printmaking, and more. She runs an artist residency program at Studio-Current on Capitol Hill, is a facilitator of Field sessions and has been the director of The Field Seattle. Her work has been seen in various venues throughout Seattle including: Untitled [Intersection], Ten Tiny Dances, Fisher Ensemble, Velocity Dance Center, and Freehold Studio Lab Theater.

A. K. Allin
A. K. “Mimi” Allin produces poetry on the page and off, by way of public installation, instigations and collaborative and solo performance. “AKA” has whispered poetry through a 300-pound block of ice, painted it on umbrellas and put it in the middle of a labyrinth cut into a lawn with hand shears. All of this to get poetry to the people! On Thursday 11 June, Allin installed 100 poets in SAM Downtown for “An Impasse of Poets.” Her next SAM event, "Sight/Seeing," happens in the galleries at SAM Downtown on Thursday 16 July. Allin earned her MA in Writing from City College of New York in 2006.