On Tuesday 3 November I will finally have the chance to do something that had been on my mind for over a year: to literally fill a suitcase with records, books, CDs, photocopies, notes, audio files, to arrange all of them on a table, and to read/speak/play/be quiet through them without much of a script, letting the rhythms of my listening and reading arrange them — in other words, to present my writing-working-thinking process in a live setting.
The idea behind this is to build a sense of time into the presentation, a time that exceeds the presentation: the time of my engagement with all the materials on the table, all of which I’ve spent hours and hours with, some of which have been with me for years.
Mediums and Poets is part of Sound I’m Particular, a series curated by Patrick Farmer at the Old Fire Station in Oxford.
Mediums and Poets: Imaginative and Sensory murmurs, after Breton, Leiris, Saint Vittoria, Lispector, Hillman, Nijinski and more less familiar voices, heard, misheard, transmitted.
Mediums and Poets is a temporary arrangement of words and sounds constructed by echoes, assonance, contrast, pun and rhyme, where listening becomes a way of framing and presenting words in the present, and of making them present.
‘I have always protested against the allegedly “visionary” power of poets … They were not describing, but were holed up in the gloomy darkness of the backstage of being, listening to the indistinct outline of accomplished, or accomplishable works, without understanding them any better as they wrote, than we do when we read them for the first time.’
‘For the simple fact of having seen her wooden cross change into a jewel-studded crucifix, and having held this vision to be at once imaginative and sensory, Theresa de Avila can be seen to command this line on which both mediums and poets sit. Unfortunately, for the time being, she is merely a saint’.
André Breton, The Automatic Message (1933)