Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

erdinger and shrdlu

June 12, 2020

Only anecdotal evidence exists of Erdinger’s oeuvre. It suggests that Erdinger – a mononymous concrete poet – was obsessed by his own name to the exclusion of all else. Driven by a desire to communicate something that was ‘unsayable’, Erdinger’s life was blighted by the fact that no one understood him or his work – and he remains to this day – a sound poet who’s work is clouded in obscurity. It seems that although he is mentioned in key papers, he never committed his work to print. He even seems to have chosen his collaborators purely in order to remain obscure, working with the equally enigmatic Etaoin Shrdlu, who’s sound poems appear as early as 1894(!), but who – as with Erdinger – seems to have left no great record of her art. Their collaborative piece still remains one of the great lost works of the concrete/sound poetry movement. Recently discovered behind a radiator in the Lyrik Kabinett, Munich, the pamphlet that you are holding, is based on a ‘bootleg’ chap-book of a performance Erdinger gave in 1964. It was clearly produced by an unknown admirer without Erdinger’s permission as an exhaustive search of the catalogue has found no further printed matter. There is, however, one incomplete audio recording, in which we hear the interviewer refer to Erdinger ‘speaking with a charming Liverpool accent’, unfortunately the tape is corrupted before the man himself begins his performance. Those who attended the Klang Farben Text event in Munich may have been lucky enough to have heard Chris McCabe perform two of the pieces. The first time they have been heard in over 50 years. We hope the rediscovery of this small example of his singular voice brings you as much pleasure as it brings us.

 

Etaoin Shrdlu. A name shrouded in mystery. Her work appears as early as 1894, and the last recorded instance in print is in 1976. A sound poet, who pre-dates the Futurist and Dadaist vanguards who are to this day considered the pioneers of the movement, her work only ever appeared as almost ‘interventionist’ statements in contemporary newspapers. Always credited to her by name, but never put in any other context, and dropped into the existing text matter seemingly at random, they could, and would be, overlooked for a century and a half. There is a known, but lost collaboration with Erdinger, and third-hand anecdotal evidence of a conversation between the two where Shrdlu spoke about the codes that underpinned her seemingly random sound poetry. We cannot even be sure how these statements were trans-lated, whether the printed versions are Shrdlu’s own, or transcripts by audience members… And what was her relationship with the elusive Erdinger? Mentor? Mother? Lover? An accidental coming together of two artists’ who sat outside of convention their entire lives? It cannot be an accident that these two impossible figures came to know each other. There must be some greater link than a random connection within an infinite universe. We can assume that Shrdlu must have been an active sound poet until her final years, that she must have died a centenarian, and that Erdinger who was first active in the 60s, was a much younger man. They are impossible figures to reconcile within the context of their art. What do the texts mean? What are the coded messages? Did Erdinger know the truth? Why do the first and last poems – some 80 years apart – start with that powerful connection of the ampersand? A character that implies a close connection between two parts. But all we have is that singular ‘t’. Alone. Unknown. Unknowing.

manifest 55

June 12, 2020

Barrie’s collaboration for Klang Farben Text was with the german writer, playwright and radio play director, FALKNER.

FALKNER sees her work, in whatever medium, as manifestos, so after discussing their project ideas, FALKNER wrote MANIFEST 55 for the event, and on the first day they worked out a typographic narrative in the format of a concertina book as a record their work together.

A film of a small mock-up of the book was played during their Klang Farben Text performance with the final concertina book to be made as a small edition that could be given to each of the contributors, as well as the British Council, National Poetry Library London and the Lyrik Kabinett.

However. The whole event took place about a week before social distancing laws came into effect, and, as a result of the current global pandemic and lock-down, the book currently exists as a series of unglued pages sitting in the Book Arts’ Space at the University of Lincoln. Quietly waiting for the world to turn again and ‘normal’ service to be resumed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

klang farben text

June 12, 2020

In early March of this year, Barrie was invited to take part in Klang Farben Text, a collaborative event of visual poetry at the Lyrik Kabinett in Munich. Organised by Chris McCabe and Steven J Fowler, ‘Klang Farben Text was a unique, one of a kind, three-day visual poetry festival of performance and exhibition inspired by the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s. The project celebrated how that movement has impacted a new generation of poets and artists by engaging a dozen of the UK and Germany’s most dynamic visual poets, key to the contemporary European scene. The printed word was transformed into collaboration, recitation, film and performance, demonstrating how concrete poetry has transcended beyond the book and printing press into an experiential art form for the 21st Century’.

The keynote speaker on the first day was a very special guest, Eugen Gomringer, who opened the event with readings from his works.

Each of the collaborating poets then performed a piece of their own work (Barrie chose ‘A Song For An Art School) and a piece of significant English or German concrete poetry – for this Barrie chose Stuart Mills’ ‘Poems for my Shorthand Typist’, which was performed with apologies to Victor Borge.

Recordings of all the performances can be found on the European Poetry Festival Site, the British Council‘s literature page, or the Lyric Kabinett website.

the lyrik kabinett

June 11, 2020

In early March – Chris McCabe, the Head Librarian at the Poetry Library in London, invited Barrie to Munich to take part in an international visual poetry event called ‘Klang Farben Text‘. The collaborative event, which paired up six British Poets and six German poets, was held in the absolutely wonderful Lyrik Kabinett – a poetry library and exhibition/performance space which is truly magical.

Set back from the street, in its own courtyard space, the Kabinett is one of curiosity and absolute delights.

As well as a formal library of poetry books (Its collection of 20,000 volumes is being expanded systematically) the display cabinets are full of artists’ books and objects.

Once the world turns and things are normal again – if you are in Munich, make a special trip to the Lyrik Kabinett. Once the world turns and things are normal again, if you are not in Munich, then make a special trip to Munich to make a special trip to the Lyrik Kabinett…

Josua Reichert’s Letterpress prints on the wall of the reception area.

This has nothing to do with the Lyrik Kabinett or the Klang Farben Text Festival, but round the corner was the most wonderful shop selling artists’ pigments and brushes.

book fairs in paradise

June 11, 2020

So. February turned out nice – and busy.

In January, Iain Morrison at the Fruitmarket Gallery had asked Barrie if he’d like to exhibit the entire 100 cantos of The Divine Comedy as part of their annual book fair (which of course he did, and it also turned out to be the final push he needed to complete the entire project).

So, he spent a fair amount of time in his studio with very old sheets of Letraset (that’s a whole other story) and then had a frantic week packaging the entire show up ready to go to Edinburgh (in between that teaching lark of course).

This was probably the weekend before the world turned, and, of course, Barrie didn’t get to go and take part in the book fair, or see his own show.

He’d been away in Munich as part of an international poetry festival earlier that week (true) and couldn’t get up to Edinburgh in time. And of course, we’ve all been in lockdown ever since, so he missed out on it all. Doomed to forever be in the boarding lounge of the good ship Zeitgeist.

Caseroom Press collaborators, Alan Mason and Ken Cockburn were there of course (here’s Alan describing the one that got away).

And Barrie was eventually there (rather aptly) in spirit, for the Fruitmarket Gallery’s first online event.

Iain and Barrie spoke about the work and read selections from Dante’s Inferno using the prints as their Virgil-like guide. Guests were invited to grab their own editions or translations of the text and join in, or just log-in on the night and listen as they descended into the circles of hell. Iain might even invite him back to walk up the mountain of Purgatory together.

Initially scheduled to finish at the end of March, the show has far extended it’s run, and is still on, playing to an empty house every day. Barrie takes great pride in thinking that it is one of those rarest of things – an exhibition that has been extended by unpopular demand.

paradise is divine

June 11, 2020

One of the things about waiting for ages to get round to posting things on the Caseroom Blog is that events have a way of carrying on regardless.

Which is why we can’t get new photographs of the some of the things that we’re posting. They’re all locked-up in lock-down.

So – here are some (teeny tiny) pictures of the three artists’ books that are The Typographic Dante.

And a close-up of the laser-etched cover to Paradise, the final book of the trilogy.

Long term Caseroom fans will know that Barrie has been working on this project for quite a while – about 31 years. He never was one for a deadline.

Over the last few years, it’s travelled as a work in Progress to Dublin (with the complete set of Inferno prints), London (the complete set of Inferno and Purgatory prints), the NCCD and finally, it’s got to Edinburgh – which was the impetus that Barrie needed to complete all 100 illustrations including the 33 images for Paradise.

The illustrations for Inferno are all created using Letterpress, the illustrations for Purgatory use Typewriters and Paradise uses Letraset. Poor.Old.Tired.Letraset.

 

Once the black and white artwork has been created, the illustrations are printed on the Risographs with Gold ink.

It’s been a long time. Probably could have gone a bit quicker.

a virtuous poem for the day

June 11, 2020

Now – we realise that we haven’t posted for a while, which we should address over the next few hours.

First off, Brenda and Barrie were (for the second time) ‘Poem of the Day’ at the National Poetry Library.

The image is from Brenda Dermody’s wonderful remixes of Barrie’s original Letterpress prints for Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Not that we’re being a bit slow, but we think this was actually a throwback to September.

More about Brenda can be found here: 100 archive

creatively inspiring

August 7, 2019

Barrie’s been featured on the Creative Review Website – as part of their Creative Inspiration pages.

The article features some thoughts about the Dante project, teaching at Lincoln, and the duality of progress and loss.

The Typographic Dante is currently on at the National Centre for Design and Craft, and the Southbank Centre.

talking about the design of poetry

July 22, 2019

The Poetry by Design Symposium at Leeds University made for a fascinating day. Fiona Becket (above) and Emma Trott chaired the panel sessions – and there was a wealth of insight from the speakers, as well as a fascinating selection of work as part of the exhibition.

 

Photo by Bronac Ferran

Barrie was the first speaker of the day and amongst other things, discussed the difficulty of ‘drawing’ fire with a typewriter.

Photo by Emma Trott

Photo by Bronac Ferran

And the particular advantages, and disadvantages of working with commercially ‘obsolete’ technologies(Believe it or not, he says he’d actually ironed that shirt).

The day ended with a series of performances, including the extremely powerful MOTHERBABYHOME by Kimberly Campanello.

In other news – The Typographic Dante was mentioned in an interview with Chris Warren (part of the Poetry Mini Interviews Blog) – he mentioned Barrie in the same breath as Christian Bok and Derek Beaulieu, so praise indeed.

 

poetry by design: a re-appraisal of visual poetics

July 15, 2019

Barrie has been invited to speak at the Poetry By Design symposium on visual and concrete poetry. Its aim is to stimulate conversations about visual poetics from the immediate pre-computer period while also considering the present moment and the futures of visual poetry.

This event coincides with the exhibition, ‘Poetry By Design’, which is open now until 23rd August in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds. Curated by Professor Fiona Becket and Dr Emma Trott, the exhibition displays work by poets including Bob Cobbing, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Dom Sylvester Houédard and Kimberly Campanello.

Please get in touch with Emma Trott with any questions: e.j.g.trott@leeds.ac.uk

Poetry By Design: schedule

9:30: Registration and coffee (Sheppard Room)

9:55: Welcome (Fiona Becket) (Education Room)

10:00: Panel I: (Education Room). Barrie Tullett – The Typographic Dante, Iris Colomb – Spill: showing and discussing a project between poetry and design

10:45: Panel II: (Education Room), Bronac Ferran – Hansjörg Mayer’s futura, Fiona Becket – Bob Cobbing, a British Internationalist, Natalie Ferris – The Intelligent Hand: Ana Hatherly and Visualising the Creative Act

12:00: Panel III: (Education Room), Julie Morrissy – “Looking and Listening”: Movement, Space, and Performance in Contemporary Irish Poetry, Florence Impens – The poem and the Archive: Kimberly Campanello’s MOTHERBABYHOME

12:45: Exhibition ‘tour’ and Q&A (Fiona Becket) (Education Room)

2pm: Panel IV: (Education Room), Alice Tarbuck – ‘‘An old frog/ jumps in’: Chinese and Japanese poetry in the work of Thomas A. Clark and Cid Corman’, Emma Trott – Language and Landscape: Simon Armitage’s Stanza Stones

2:45pm: Panel V: (Education Room), Greg Thomas – Poem Machines: Liliane Lijn, John Goodby – Purity, pop-up and performance: Peter Meilleur / Childe Roland and Anglo-Welsh-Quebecois concrete poetry

4pm: Roundtable (Workshop Theatre)

4:30pm: Readings: (Workshop Theatre), Sascha Aurora Akhtar, Vahni Capildeo, Kimberly Campanello

5:30pm: Finish