The Poem is Telling Me I Remember, a new book of poetry and visual art published by Creative Growth, lists anywhere from six to 15 authors below the title of each composition. They worked collaboratively in group settings at Creative Growth, the Oakland studio and gallery for artists with developmental disabilities, first in-person and then online. Some of the artists incorporate language into their visual art. But for most, it was their first experience intentionally writing poetry. Lorraine Lupo, the workshop facilitator (with Kostas Anagnopoulos), recorded the lines verbatim and sequenced them into complete pieces. Even artists whose lines were omitted from the final poem received a byline. This was a resonant decision: Just like essential worker discourse during the pandemic has surfaced the labor underlying services and commodity circulation, creative communities have highlighted the porosity of influence and collaboration.
Line breaks indicate different contributors such that the poems seem to grow by accumulation, with the authors nudged by one another towards whimsy, abstraction, and vulnerability. There are ekphrastic descriptions of visual art, and tributes to workshop members composed in their absence. “I Remember,” the book’s longest piece, inspired by the same-named Joe Brainard poem, comprises full-sentence recollections of many of the same objects, feelings, and historical moments, like the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. Elsewhere this accretive quality is destabilizing. “A Tiny House” features a remarkably elastic “it,” the pronoun representing a burning roof in a bathtub in one line and a shared brain in the next. Opposite the poem of domestic alarm and magical remedy, in one of the stirring text-image pairings, Peter Salsman’s untitled acrylic painting depicts telephone cables linking neighboring rooftops and a brooding, gold-streaked sky.
Most of the contributors, including artists William Scott, Cedric Johnson, Larry Randolph, Jessica Rodriguez, and Dinah Shapiro, have worked at Creative Growth for a decade or more. The workspace, housed in an old auto repair shop, closed last March due to the pandemic, disrupting a cornerstone of the artists’ creative practice and social life. Creative Growth staff, mainly teaching artists, reacted decisively; they ensured the artists had supplies, including computers and stable internet at home, and that the remote programming featured interpretation, breakout rooms, and other accessibility measures. The Poem is Telling Me I Remember arose from the workshop participants’ camaraderie and the labor of staff artists working as caregivers. It shows how determined collectivity, at least as much as hermitude, has defined cultural production during the pandemic.
The Poem is Telling Me I Remember is published by Creative Growth.
The artist’s portrait of her mother, painted in 1977 and reproduced on the vaporetti of Venice, may be one of the most evocative artworks in the Biennale.
A new box set of four of the Iranian director’s features offers a great opportunity to get to know his singular style.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
It’s not a “greatest hits” show, or a comprehensive survey; rather, it is a starting point to reconsider an expansive vision of Chicana/o art.
“I’m focused on contemporary Native American stories, the modern-day ups and downs of that lifestyle, but I’m not trying to do it in a traditional manner,” the award-winning filmmaker told Hyperallergic in an interview.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
The Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.