03 April 2015

The right framing

I'm researching an artist and poet called Jen Bervin - she works with erasure in her books, in various ways, and has appeared on this blog before, thanks to her artists books. Shakespeare's Nets is erasure of the sonnets, leaving (or revealing) new poems. 

What I'm most interested in are the huge quilts that carry the dashes and crosses that were until recently edited out of Emily Dickinson's poems.

A recent interview updates her work - she's working with a 4th century BC poem written by Lady Su Hui in China. It's stitched on silk in five colours and can be read in any direction ... and there are all sorts of translation problems... but it's the visual aspect that's amazing. 

The importance of framing:
In this interview, in talking about The Silk Poems project, Jen Bervin also says:

 "I feel like in our practice one of the most difficult things is coming to the right framing of something that’s really exciting to everyone, and once that’s in place, the work becomes very easy and fluid. "

Which is exactly what the land artist Dani Karavan found when he got the idea for Passages, the memorial to Walter Benjamin at Port Bou (Benjamin committed suicide there) - opposite the cemetery Karavan looked down to see the sea swirling over the rocks, and that embodied "the whole thing" - now, how to make other people see it? Karavan "framed" the sea at the end of a long tunnel of steps going down the hill. Brilliant. 

Link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJKFGpkN934.

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