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Posts Tagged ‘Pessoa’

Stuff (NOT the website) has taken over my life. I am feeling a bit like the Junk Lady from the film Labyrinth, overwhelmed by things. Which has led to a reduction in blogging – and other writing projects.

Several interesting things have come my way though. Firstly I was sent a great MP3 of Dave Hickey speaking (audio file here – its big!) He made some excellent points and I felt they were very relevant to the New Zealand institutional art scene. [Hatip MC for the link]. One take away message though for me was that art is an elective, not a compulsory course, so to speak. Art is a luxury. As my twitter followers will know, I can be a bit whiney about my relatively comfortable middle-class existence. Art (in its broad sense) is my luxury and I should probably appreciate that more instead of moaning that I can’t get to see more exhibitions or buy more books. Deviating a bit from Hickey’s view, and whatever their state, I am very appreciative of public galleries (and libraries!) as I get to see so much at very little cost.

I have also been very lucky to meet with some extremely interesting people of late and to read some great poetry. It’s been awesome to be able to help out a little by scrounging for knitting needles for the binding of my good friend Helen Heath’s forthcoming chapbook Watching for Smoke. This is being published by another wonderful Helen (Rickerby), at Seraph Press. Its very energising to be around people who are passionate about what they are doing and how they are doing it. In this vein, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Dean Havard at Kilmog Press, who produces beautiful handcrafted books and have had great discussions with poet Michael Steven. Kilmog has just published his chapbook Centreville Springs and its a good one!

All the literary talk prompted me to have a hunt for Fernado Pessoa books in Dunedin’s excellent 2nd hand book shops (reuse!). I had a great conversation with one ‘bookshop guy’ which went something like this:

“I am looking for anything by Pessoa”
“Oh, the Portugese chap? No sorry not at the moment”

I was so impressed that ‘bookshop guy’ knew Pessoa (and on my last visit taught me how to pronounce ‘Camus’ properly) that I ended up walking away with Rimbaud’s prose poems which was at the top limit of my budget. As this flying bookshop visit was on the way to a family outing to the Botanical Gardens I also ended up carrying Rimbaud and a copy of Edmund White’s ‘The Flaneur’  with me around the park which felt a tiny bit surreal.

The park has some interesting Peter Pan statuary. Apparently you can find these all over NZ but I found the detail in the base of this one a tad creepy. The statue is of Peter standing on a tree stump. In the tree roots are all sorts of creatures – and babies. It hadn’t occurred to me that the ‘lost boys’ were once ‘lost babies’ which I find a little disturbing and reminiscent of The Importance of Being Earnest where a baby was left in a capacious handbag “in the cloak-room of one of the larger railway stations in London.”

bronzebaby
This baby looks quite forlorn in it’s tree root ‘cage’

On the recycle front so much has been happening but probably only of interest to me. But in the spirit of ‘recycle’ , here is a cover of Word Up – played on the ukulele. Yes, I have also been neglecting my ukulele fetish even though I am actually taking some lessons. WORD

 

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Poetry on the Street

An article in yesterday’s New York Times caught my eye and was illustrated with this stencil.


Fernando Pessoa on a wall of a building in the Bica neighborhood of Lisbon.

“Pessoa was raised in South Africa, trilingual, he wrote in English and French as well as in Portuguese, and in person (“pessoa” means simply person in Portuguese) affected the reserve of an English gentleman, inventing in his writing heteronyms, or imaginary characters, through which to make himself, as it were, disappear…Pessoa’s like a shadow, an invisible man…He wrote about being the center of a center where there was nothing.”

I think its fitting that “the invisible man” is depicted in such a impermanent medium. And this image brought to mind a line I read recently. “I see you before hieroglyphs of a strange land” from ‘Streets of Music’ by Martin Edmond.

In other news, New Zealand graffiti crew TMD (The Most Dedicated), triumphed at the World’s Largest Graffiti competition at Splash Festival in Germany. From Streetarse “TMD placed first in the concept wall and well-respected Grey Lynn artist Deus is now officially the best tagger in the world – his family are very proud.” (which is pretty damn funny).

And it is official – there is no more room in hell

Lastly here’s a great idea when you’ve run out of material for your blog:

“Jake Bronstein recently bought a toy vending machine off the Internet. He filled the toy capsules with ideas of fun things to do and started placing the machine in various spots around New York. For 50 cents you get the original toy, an idea, and a map to guide you to the location for your idea. Each capsule also contains a quarter, refunding half of your purchase price (the machine wouldn’t let him charge less than 50 cents.)”

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