Friday, 27 March 2009

Helen White

Although it didn’t start off that way, this piece is a response to the experience of curating the infusoria exhibition. Most of the poets are women I have got to know online; almost all our communication has been by e-mail, and on blogs, listservs and Facebook because I’ve only met a few of them face to face. We’ve discussed the emergence of common themes and concerns in women’s visual poetry over the last few years, and as works for the exhibition began to fill my living room, some of these became apparent. In particular, recurrent fascination with smallness, fragility, ephemerality, and with the body grotesque. Fluid, ambiguous language and organic, sometimes tactile forms are crossed with the electronic, robotic, machine-driven, nerdy.
I am fascinated by texts left open for the reader to create. By poems that can be held in the hands. By the idea of writing in order to not say something: presenting the act of trying or failing or refusing to speak. I love working with illegible or partly obscured texts, poems you can only read if you pick them up and play with them, shake them, hold them up to the light. For the last few months, I have dreamed recurrently of finding a cache of blue-green stones or curious jewels, buried in the ground.


Still can't think of a damn title though. I hate titles.


Helen White is a founding member of Krikri vzw, a visual poet and the curator of this exhibition. Her work has been shown in exhibtions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus, Japan, and Argentina, and has been published in several magazines including De Poëziekrant, Foursquare, Phoebe, Karagöz and The Big Ode. Her visual poem “Holding” has just been published by Paper Kite Press in Pennsylvania as the first in a series of visual poems from around the world.