A collection of small artists' books
dedicated to experimental, concrete and visual poetry,
or any work combining text and visual arts
in the spirit of dada or fluxus.
ALAIN ARIAS-MISSON (BELGIUM)
"The Sinking of Venice Poem"
Visual Poetry - a Public Poem project.
A6 format - 40 pages - laser printing.
Thread and quarter cloth binding
price: 15 euro / 20 US $ / 13 UK Sterling
you can order also by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Public Sinking of Venice Poem is a provocative, surprising and ironic project. It took place in the middle of Grand Canal in Venice on May 7, 2015.
with the support of the Fondazione Bonotto.
The Public Sinking of Venice Poem explores and develops the relationship between this city-on-water and its worldwide "brand" name: VENEZIA.
For this exceptional city, the Poet considers Water the appropriate stage for the Word to take place, much better than any other site, square, palace or museum.
In spite of many years spent in the construction of the MOSE dam, due to deep-rooted corruption, the most notorious political-environmental issue in Venice today is its slow sinking into the lagoon.
The Public Sinking of Venice Poem is intended to represent this situation through a highly graphic, moving text.
The Public Sinking of Venice Poem is the most recent Public Poem project of Arias-Misson, who invented this form of "urban poetry" in 1966. Since then, Arias-Misson has produced about one Public Poem a year all over the world: each one was originated by a written text realized in and for the city, developed in its streets and public places, outside any art context. Often self-produced, during last years the Public Poems has been sponsored by institutions as: MuhKA - Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kulturhaus of Berlin, Pamplona Museum, the city of Bonn, documented by the Reina Sofia Museum, etc.
Arias-Misson was born in Brussels in 1936. His family fled to New York at the beginning of World War II, and his youth was spent in the United States, where he took his degree at Harvard University in French and Greek literature - and first experimented in sound poetry. In the sixties and seventies he traveled throughout Europe and North Africa, living in Spain and Belgium; and then returned to New York where he worked at the United Nation. His nomadic character brought him to live in Italy and France, where he currently resides with his wife Karen Moller. He speaks eight languages.
At the beginning of the sixties he further developed his experimental poetry in the direction of a visual poetics, in close touch with Carlfrierich Claus in East Germany, Paul De Vree in Belgium, Sylvester Houédard in England, Clemente Padin in Uruguay. Among his earliest works was a three-dimensional poem - perhaps the first, according to Emmett Williams whom he met in NYC in 1965 - the Permutational Poem in plexiglass. In 1968 he began the series of Public Poems, provocative city actions in which the artist sought to create a synthesis between a poetry of action and writing: "writing on the page of the street", as he calls it. He did the first of these events entitled VIETNAM near the Botanique in Brussels; many others would follow in Europe and the United States, among which The Beethoven Public Poem commissioned by the City of Bonn for the Bicentennial of Beethoven in 1970 and The Cat & Mouse Rockefeller Plaza Speech-Balloon Public Poem in New York in 1974. The Spanish philosopher Ignacio Gomez de Liano, the Flemish poet Paul De Vree, and the French art historian Marc Dachy, were closely associated with him in these often riotous undertakings.
In 1973 his visual novel, Confessions of a madman, murderer, rapist, fascist, bomber, thief or A Year from the Journal of an Ordinary America - in which the narrative consists of news clippings and photographs taken from the "New Yorks Times" and their characters and scenes recombined in a monstrous plot. He is the author of several novels published in the United States, most recently Theatre of Incest, 2007, and A Literary Work of Fiction, coming out next year. In 1978 he published The Public Poem Book with Factotum art, in which he assembled an inventive visio-textual documentation of the Public Poems realized so far. In 2009 his The Visitor provided a comprehensive anthology of his work. In the seventies and eighties he constructed his Floating Mental Theater, wooden and plexiglass boxes in which little shamanic demons and family and literary figures interact: marionettes of writing where the figures are defined by his handwriting. The most recent, Cages of Desire, were shown at the Lara Vincy Gallery in Paris in 2009.
In 1988 he returned to his public poems, with The Proust Public Poem blocking the entire the Place Saint-Germain; in 1991 The Hollywood Monsters Public Poem in Los Angeles shut down Sunset boulevard with Bory, Blaine, Sarenco and Miccini and The Teutonic Public Poem in Berlin invited by the Berliner Literaturhaus; in 1998 The Public Shamanic Chapel Sixtine Poem, an unheard of avant-garde event at the Sixtine Chapel, in the Vatican, uninvited, with Marc Dachy and Francesco Conz. In 2003 in the Paris metro, with many art friends of Paris, he did The Public Surveillance Poem, and more recently La Dernière Scène in Nice and The Last Supper in Marseilles.
His works have been exhibted in hundreds of exhibitions and published in scores of anthologies in Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. His most significant individual shows have been at the Emily Harvey Gallery in New York and the Lara Vincy Gallery in Paris. Among the most important collective shows: Word in Art, at the MART, Rovereto; the Biennale of Lodz, Poland; Primo piano parole azioni suoni, Pecci Museum, Prato; Das poetische ABC, Museum of Berne; Figura 3, Leipzig Museum; Et tous ils changèrent le monde, Biennale of Lyons; Poésure et Peintrie, the Museums of Marseilles; the Biennale of Sao Paulo; the Biennale of Venice (collateral organized by the White Box of New York and the Lodz Museum of Artists, Poland); Ecritures, Fondation Nationale des Arts Plastiques, Paris; OPEN, the out-doors sculpture festival on the Lido, Venice. His works are represented in many museums and prestigious collections throughout the world, such as the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, the State Museum of Amsterdam, the MUHKA Contemporary Museum Museum of Stuttgart, the Pecci Museum, the Museion Bolzano Contemporary Museum, the MART Museum of Rovereto and Trento etc.