In Uncategorized on July 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm

VerySmallKitchen and theTotalkunst Gallery, Edinburgh, present I AM NOT A POET, a 2 week festival exploring connections of language, writing and art practice. Beginning with conversations and lectures as part of AN EDINBURGH ZINE & SMALL PRESS FAIR on 7th August, I AM NOT A POET presents a series of three and one day exhibitions, alongside conversations, lectures, performances, publications, and screenings…

Artists include: Pete Cant, Magdalen Chua, Patrick Coyle, Alex Eisenberg, Jennie Guy, Colin Herd, Shandra Lamaute, Michelle Letowska, Marit Muenzberg, nick e-melville, Tamarin Norwood, Mary Paterson, Gerry Smith, seekers of lice. Curated by David Berridge (VerySmallKitchen) and Mirja Koponen (Totalkunst Gallery)

TotalKunst Gallery
3 Bristo Place


Shandra Lamaute, Ideas of Beauty: Conversations, installation view

There are still some events to be confirmed, and the structure is open to events and projects that unfold as the two weeks develop so check back or follow the VerySmallKitchen twitter feed for updates. The programme of film screenings is here.

Queries, questions or consternations? Email Not in Edinburgh? The festival will also have digital presence on this blog. The programme below is followed by some notes by the artists about individual projects. Thanks to Marit Muenzberg for the logo above…




August 7th

16.00 A conversation with Shandra Lamaute

17.00 I AM NOT A POET/ I’M A MINOR POET OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, performance-lecture by seekers of lice.

August 8th

10- 22.00 – CREAMY LANGUAGE, seekers of lice. One day installation.

August 9th

10-18.00-  VerySmallKitchen THE SUMMER SCHOOL OF SILENCE.  Contributions from David Berridge, Magdelen Chua, Mirja Koponen, Mary Paterson, Michelle Letowska, and Kim Walker.

August 10th


10-22.00- MEMORY EXCHANGE, Mary Paterson. One day performance installation. Come and exchange a memory.

10-22.00- Alex Eisenberg and Peter Cant, INSTRUCTIONS/ CONSTRUCTIONS 1 day installation-performance.

August 11-13th

10-22.00- Gerry Smith and Shandra Lamaute, three day joint exhibition.

August 12th  

14.00- 15.30pm. Conversation with Gerry Smith followed by Haikuisation workshop. Please bring a book of short stories (or borrow one from the Forest Cafe…).

August 14-16th

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL, Colin Herd. Three day exhibition.

Colin has curated a reading series at 5pm on each day of his exhibition :

14th 5pm- iain morrison
15th 5pm- posie rider
16th 5pm- surprise reading tbc

August 15th

15.30-16.00 Artist talk: Brody Condon on Level Five

August 17-19th

10-22.00- THESE ARE NOT POEMS by Tamarin Norwood, three day exhibition.

August 18th

18.00-22.00 Selected Crônicas by Jennie Guy (screening on a loop in the gallery).

August 19th

11-12.30 Writing, Exhibition, Curation. A conversation with Magdalen Chua (Project41) and Tamarin Norwood.

1.00-3.00pm Screening and discussion of Selected Crônicas by Jennie Guy and performance by Tamarin Norwood.

August 20th

10.00-22.00- editorial. nick e-melville, installation and performance.

August 21st

11-16.00 Concluding Lazy Publication Indoor Picnic. Readings, publications, performances, food and drink.


seekers of lice, installation view from WRITING/ EXHIBITION/ PUBLICATION at The Pigeon Wing, 2010



seekers of lice: Creamy Language

Creamy Language proceeds through association of sound, meaning, thought, and pattern of letters and words, following its own logic – or lack of it – in fits and starts – a specific energy keeping together a field.

Includes:  I am not a poet/ I’m a minor poet of the twentieth century. A talk- 59 index cards in no particular order.

I used to call myself an artist/ then someone said to me

“You’re not artist. At best you’re a minor poet and that’s much worse.”


seekers of lice, installation view from WRITING/ EXHIBITION/ PUBLICATION at The Pigeon Wing, 2010

Mary Paterson: Memory Exchange



In September 2007 i went to New York.

Pete stayed in london.

In August 2011 pete will go to Edinburgh

I will stay in london.

This is a remote project.
A project where thinking of the other is enough.

It consists of ‘instructions’
That will always make ‘constructions’

Pete and Alex will not speak during the course of the project.

Colin Herd: Now That’s What I Call

Now That’s What I Call is a participatory sound-work and performance involving a c.d. sequence of 40 semi-improvised talk poems interrogating and riffing over the double c.d. pop music anthology Now That’s What I Call Music 26. The piece conflates the terms through which we think about poetry and pop music. The focus is on thinking about the mechanics of pop records and poems through techniques such as the hook, the bridge etc. Emphasis is on reading,  attention, consumption and digestion. The poems themselves are intended to mimic effects of pop music: throwaway, boring, repetitive, indulgent, cynical, clinical, intense, sexy etc.  Multiple walkmans will be available for gallery visitors to listen to the c.d.s. Through the exhibition, the complete text of lyrics from the c.d. will be transcribed as a kind of backing track of loops on scrolls around the gallery walls.


Gerry Smith and Shandra Lamaute


Gerry Smith writes: I am a text-based artist who has recently been working with reductive forms. The following works are exhibited:

Whilst Walking Past A Tall Building is a process piece in five articles and eight letters. I began the process by submitting a question to The Guardian’s Notes & Queries, and the piece consists of the answers that were published. Only structural edits were made, with no alteration to the contents. Hayley Jones, Graham Simpson, and Emily Streete provided the readings.

Breathe consists of three punctuation poems constructed from breves. The texts used are taken from Allan Kaprow’s Performing Life.

12 Haikuisations. These reductive works demonstrate the simple writing strategy of haikuisation. These texts are based upon works by the following authors:Nicolas Evans, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Samantha Harvey. William Heiensen, M.R.James, A. L. Kennedy, Heinrich Von Kliest,Robert Maugham, William McIlvanney, Georges Simenon (twice) and Emma Smith.


Gerry Smith, i am a text-based artist (2010)


Shandra Lamaute writes: The sound pieces shown – Al-Qalam (The Pen) and Ideas of Beauty: Conversations – are two explorations of the communicative properties of how an object or a reflection of self has the ability to influence the ideologies associated with the societal norms of identity. Al-Qalam is derived from the experience of insertion whereby the user (myself) is assuming a role by engaging in an action—writing in Arabic with a traditional reed pen used for the art of Islamic Calligraphy—that is not culturally attributed to my identity or me. Ideas of Beauty: Conversations is an account of women’s ideas of beauty in relation to their identity and societal pressures.


Brody Condon

Artist Brody Condon introduces Level Five: a live performance event focused on critically exploring group therapy seminars from the 1970. This project is a commission for Abandon Normal Devices; a festival of experimental art and cinema, taking place across the Northwest of England in October

Artists, performers and members of the public are invited to participate in this physically and psychologically intense day-long performance that will loosely follow the structure of early Large Group Awareness Trainings, using live role playing techniques.  Level 5 is an investigation into the ideological legacy of this historical type of gathering and its influence on contemporary culture.

During his talk Brody will discuss key aspects of participation in Level 5 as well as his wider artistic practice. Space is limited, but Brody will be available to answer questions afterwards in Forest Cafe. For more info please contact



Tamarin Norwood:  THESE ARE NOT POEMS

I am not a poet: these are not poems. They are things lined up on shelves. Domestic interiors reading left to right, sometimes with a rhyme at the end. This is a room and not a book of poems.

Tamarin Norwood is an artist and writer. In her work she identifies and extends exchanges between practice and everyday life; studio and gallery; word and thing.

Jennie Guy, Selected Crônicas, film still, 2011.


Jennie Guy:  Selected Crônicas


With as little vocal or physical direction as possible Jennie Guy uses video and sound recordings of a cast of willing readers set in a remote location to reenact the crônicas of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, originally published in the Jornal do Brasil between 1967 and 1973.


nick e-melville from FOUR SELF-PORTAITS


nick e-melville: editorial


Read all about it!  Recent news stories have shown how news can be manipulated from out of nowhere and reach everywhere.  Furthermore, in the media world August is usually known as silly season (because parliament is on holiday…).  On August 19th, three tabloids and three broadsheets of the day will be taped to the walls of the Total Kunst gallery.  Join poet nick-e melville as he attempts to make non-news from these newspapers.  Grab some tippex, or white paint, and start editing the news to create your own exposé.  Erase words and letters to create your own news, or even just a sequence of nonsensical words that don’t actually mean anything at all.

  1. […] I Am Not A Poet (7th – 21st, Forest Café) […]

  2. […] gallery and artists collective based in the Forest, together with VerySmallKitchen are running I AM NOT A POET.  This is a two week festival curated by David Berridge and Mirja Koponen exploring connections of […]

  3. […] and Ragged University’s three-day symposium on censored arts. Our other big minifestivals are I Am Not A Poet in the gallery, an art/txt/video/exhibiton/mashup type of thing, and Ultrachip, a two-day fest of […]

  4. […] talking about David Berridge because he organised a season called I AM NOT A POET last Edinburgh Festival-time (Aug 2011) at the sadly missed Total Kunst Gallery in the Forest […]

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