Entries published during March, 2010

I Missed (Paris)
11–13 March 2010
John Ashbery in Paris
Université Paris VII
(after On Kawara)

Michael Davidson
Lori Chamberlain
Bob Perelman
Francie Shaw
Donna Stonecipher
Hélène Aji
Sarah Riggs
Omar Berrada
Joshua Clover
Abigail Lang
Antoine Cazé
Olivier Brossard
Nicholas LoLordo
Paul Grimstad
Jennifer Dick
Françoise de Laroque
Gilles Weinzaepflen
Florence Manlik

from “Ashbery’s Historicism: 
Nonsite Hypotaxis and Modernity Critique
in The Double Dream of Spring

Presented at John Ashbery in Paris: International Conference
12 March 2010, Institut Charles V, Université Paris Diderot

What makes The Double Dream of Spring both unique and exemplary for Ash­bery’s work is its positive critique of social modernity, rather than a mere ironic reversal of modernism, at the intersection of critical theory, poststructuralism, and romanticism. In the figural space of his works, Ashbery inverts of the poetics of radical particularity—seen in terms of an aesthetic of the fragment and the condition of reification under capitalism—that relocates what Altieri terms its “aesthetic agency” in an interplay of “partial local coherence” that at once proposes and disposes of any horizon of totality. … More

Michael Waltuch’s Whale Cloth Press, the original publisher of Robert Grenier’s Sentences in the Chinese box version (with ivory clasps, manufactured in Hong Kong), has put up a mediated version of the poem.


It is interesting to think about the tensions between the work in its print/index card/box format and its digital one—they are not identical. For one thing, even though the cards are displayed in a random order, different each time, they can never be displayed spatially—tacked up on a bulletin board, or placed on steps, or photographed in the crotch of a tree. The box was a three-dimensional boundary (like the skin surrounding the body of the work) that is quite a bit unlike a frame for a static two-dimensional image or an html page with flash animation. And yet the work is finding a new reception that reads the individual instances of the text in a kind of “free space” of interpretation:


… More

Ice house, Detroit, 2010.

A link to the Ice House Detroit project, courtesy Joe Paszek. In this project, Detroit artists sprayed an abandoned house with water in January, in a reversal of the usual method of getting rid of excess housing inventory by fire (a.k.a. Devil’s Night, a custom that seems to be on the wane). There is a description of a similar midwestern moment in Wyndham Lewis’s Self-Condemned (1954), where he describes a Toronto hotel encased in ice after a fire.