Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Art Crit v. Poetry Smackdown: Charles Bernstein Makes the Call

Last month just before the BRING IT panel, I nervously gabbed the following blather to a fellow panellist: "Whoa, it's pretty full in there. Shouldn't there be somebody warming up the crowd for us? But who's small enough open for art critics? Maybe a poet. Yeah."

Well, shame on me. In digging around for information about this past weekend's talk at Vancouver's Speakeasy: Writing and Contemporary Art series, I came across this assertion from January 9 lecturer Charles Bernstein:

Reading Lytle Shaw’s study of the 50s and 60s, underscores, once again, how, indeed, pernicious is the cliché that poetry is fifty years behind visual art. On the contrary, art criticism, insofar as it succumbs to a paranoiac fear of theatricality that induces frame-lock, lags behind poetry at its peril. Meanwhile, the visual and verbal arts remain complicit with one another 50 years ago and today.

I type corrected! Thanks to Emily Carr University's Glen Lowry for the link to Bernstein's text.

Image of Charles Bernstein and Richard Tuttle's With Strings from Artspeak

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