Writing On It All: Governors Island, June 2013

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Alex Chasin, who has been featured a few times as a guest contributor at Big Other, is spearheading a site-specific collaborative writing project at Governors Island called Writing On It All.

It begins this month and it looks unusually good–so sign up for a session, donate, and/or spread the word!

In a series of seven sessions, invited artists and writers, along with interested members of the public, collaborate in writing on the interior of an out-of-use house on Governors Island. Writing On It All enacts the physical as well as social nature of writing, with a materialist twist on contemporary conceptual art practice. Just as writers are embodied, so do we write with concrete tools, in and from particular locations with particular histories and functions. Mindful of this materiality, Writing On It All takes place in an early 20th-Century house that used to serve as senior officer housing when Governors Island was a military base.

Writing On It All puts these ideas and this history into play with a number of poets and visual thinkers, a graffiti artist, and a movement improviser, who will facilitate sessions designed to invite different forms of engagement with the empty old house, from listening to dancing to a range of collaborative writing activities. The project foregrounds process over product, which means that we don’t know quite what to expect, and that our collective focus is on acts of writing rather than on the texts we produce – nevertheless, the house will be available for viewing after each session. Ultimately, the texts themselves are ephemeral; they will be painted over, rinsed or sanded off, and the house restored to its original condition, at the beginning of July.

EVENTS

June 15 – Kundiman Poets – Writing Race & Belonging: A Live Monument
June 16 – Al Diaz – WET PAINT PROJECT 2011-2013
June 22 – Wendy S. Walters – Out of Regiment, a Project in Personal Mapping
June 23 – Carla Gannis and Justin Petropolous – legend / legend
June 23 – Jovanina Pagano and Rachel Levitsky – Against the Wall: Migration / Habitation / Erasing / Tracing
June 29 – Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture
June 30 – Anne Carson, Robert Currie, and Ébauche

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On Theresa Cha, kundiman, lost books, why moving hurts, Sappho and archaic love poetry, food poisoning, The Bacchae, Tom Hardy, Hisham Matar, more Veena Das, exhaustion, indebtedness, speaking, showing, writing.

If I were in the NYC area on March 5th, I would try to go to this:

Belladonna* and Kundiman Celebrate Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Saturday, March 5, 2011; 2 – 3:30 pm

On the weekend of what would have been Cha’s 60th birthday (a full life cycle event in the Chinese/Korean lunar calendar), Belladonna* and Kundiman gather nine poets to perform a staged reading from Dictee. Cha’s best known written work, Dictee focuses on the life of several women framed with the art of the Greek muses, yet in the cosmos of Shamanism and Daoism. Their struggle to speak and overcome suffering is enacted through a mixture of media which destabilizes the notion of a progressive and seamless history.

Participants to include: Anne Waldman, Tamiko Beyer, Sarah Gambito, Laura Hinton, Cathy Park Hong, Soomi Kim, Nathanaël, Alison Roh Park, Sina Queyras, Jen Shyu, Zhang Er

Join us for an afternoon of projected images, voices, pictorial characters, scholarly contextualization, a birthday cake, and surprises.

Event is being filmed for Woo Jung Cho’s documentary on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, The Dream of the Audience.

Curated by Cara Benson and Sarah Gambito

When: Saturday, March 5
Door: 1:40pm; Show: 2pm to 3:30pm [PROMPT]
Where: Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, NYC
Cost: $8

 

*

 

One of the books I took with me here to Glasgow was Theresa Cha’s Exilée and Temps Morts: Selected Works. It’s my second copy; I had to buy this book again online because it was one book in a massive box of books that disappeared in transit to me between California and England, when I first moved to London, where I no longer live. The books were lost during the Royal Mail strike, so I comforted myself with the knowledge that at least they were lost for a good cause. I like to think that some striking postal workers were tearing open my box of books and reading Derrida’s Le monolingualism de l’autre or Shklovsky’s Zoo: Or Letters About Love, which was one of my favorite books—the actual, specific body of that one book—ever. I bought it again, it’s not the same. There were books in there whose skins I will never again be able to retrieve, books the buying and having of which were totally suffused with the people who bought them and had them with me, next to me, for me. The tracks of love that were in these books. People I loved who are now dead.

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