The Public Poem

EDITOR’S NOTE: THE WEEK OF  MARCH 11TH IN NEW YORK, THE CITY OF HIS CHILDHOOD, ALAIN ARIAS-MISSON WILL BE PRESENTING SEVERAL EXCITING EVENTS: THE FIRST IS A SHOW AT EMILY HARVEY FOUNDATION WHERE HE USED TO SHOW HIS WORK IN THE LATE ’70’S EARLY EARLY ’80’S. THERE WILL ALSO BE AN EVENT AT WHITE BOX (SEE PREVIOUS POST HERE.) MORE NEWS TO FOLLOW. IF YOU’RE IN THE AREA OR PLANNING TO VISIT, ALAIN WILL BE THERE TO GREET YOU WITH A SMILE.

THE PUBLIC POEM by ALAIN ARIAS-MISSON

Alain Arias-Misson, born in Brussels, educated mostly in the U.S., describes himself as “a real fake-American, a fake real-Belgian”—a dual identity which extended into his life’s work: American novelist by vocation with seven books of experimental fiction, and European artist by accident-as one of the initiators of the visual poetry movement in the early sixties in Spain, Belgium, France and Italy. His works are represented in museums and galleries throughout Europe and the United States. His invention of the Public Poem in 1966-67, however, was a singular poetic experience: he decided he could “write on the street like a page”. His Public Poems or street-texts have since disrupted city life in a score of cities in Europe and the U.S.. 

The exhibition consists of a graphic-documentary illustration of his Public Poems and a video of seven Public Poems—on the occasion of the publication in the current issue of Performance Arts Journal of his Public Poems as the Artist’s Drawings section. Arias-Misson has deliberately enacted his Public Poems outside the “performances” circuit, in order to avoid an elitist art context: always taking place in the city streets, focal point of signs and polis, political-cultural milieu, the Public Poem uses minimal linguistic elements (such as grammatical symbols, let­ters, cartoon balloons) and iconic signs (masks, figures, materials) to point to or to frame an underlying city-text—in the symbolic and the functional aspects of traffic, police, monuments, public buildings, business, political and art institutions etc.. The public he addresses in the first place is the public in the street. Having begun this “street-poetry” in the Sixties, an era of cultural and urban effervescence, he feels that today with “Occupy Wall Street” and mass street demonstrations, his work again enjoys an aesthetic-social dynamic.

1

Madrid 1971                                                         Berlin 1991

THE PUBLIC POEM

(40 years of a street poetics)

 a one evening presentation/screening of documents & videos

Emily Harvey Foundation
537 Broadway
Thursday March 14th, 6 – 9 PM

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AND MORE… what a lineup! Don’t miss this on March 15th!

Literary Evening 1

Start celebrating early — read THE MAN WHO WALKED ON AIR & OTHER TALES OF INNOCENCE

aircover

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