Thursday, 26 June 2008

Visual Poetry - Where Next?

I have been trying to decide where to go next with my visual poetry. The first thing I need to decide is what the product is - is it the photograph or is it the poem itself in whatever context it has been placed? This is a difficult question, when I was placing the text it felt like it was more about the actual text and the context - which would mean that the photograph was merely a record of what I did. However when I printed out some of the photographs the ones I most liked were the ones that were close up fragments of the text. I especially like the one I posted yesterday with the red and white text, which is reminiscent (although unintentionally) of some of Barbara Kruger's works.

Being a big fan of collage I have looked at Kruger's work before. Kruger places text over blown up photographs usually taken from advertising or the media (see picture). I have often made collages in a similar way to this but with my visual poetry I wanted to place the text into a more physical environment than that of a flat page. I also liked the idea of putting the text/poem into an environment that was related in some way to the text. The fragment photos though are definitely remininiscent of Kruger's work. They almost look like advertisments or posters.
Looking at the photographs again has posed more questions - is the content of the text the important thing or is it the context that the text is placed in that is most significant? or are both things of equal importance? Clearly putting text onto the object changes the nature of the object somehow. The object becomes a blank canvas or the equivalent of a blank page. If the poem was about the object itself that would also change the nature of it - making the viewer think about and maybe re-evaluate their relationship with the object.
Another option would be to write the poem as a still life like Popa's poems in "Bark." These poems "start as descriptions and then proceed to withold the usual attributes of the thing being described. They defmamiliarize perception." (Simic, C. in Popa, V. "Homage to the Lame Wolf" Oberlin College Press, 1987).

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