Posts Tagged ‘edinburgh’


In Uncategorized on October 14, 2011 at 2:05 am


thetextisthetext: an exhibition of word images, a self-styled smith/melville mash-up, is taking place at Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh 8-18th October 2011.  Asked about the origin of the project Gerry Smith writes:


There was no original (written)proposal as such, just a series of events… Tom Leonard  put me in touch with nick-e melville, much in common but coming at it from different positions, and I mention the possibility of doing a text show.: around that time, Catherine Sargeant left a positive note in my comments book at the MFA degree show ( I had known her work from seeing it over the last few years at the SSA Annual Exhibitions, and I had been impressed with it) and I decided that if we were doing a text show she would have to be on board – so I contacted her…


From top: Lisa Temple-Cox, Moulages; Gerry Smith A Library Is Print In Its Gaseous State; Catherine Sargeant/ Dorothy Alexander, Lift Riffs.


… nicky and I drew up a list of who we should invite to participate and a series of meetings took place /invites were sent. Once I final secured a venue, we all met to discuss our work and what we could do – the criteria for the show was that it was to be experimental; either collaborations or working outwith or normal media (which is why I chose to do an animation piece). The only person who wasn’t working with text in some way was Becky Campbell – I happen to like the work that she was doing and thought it might be interesting to see what she could do with text ( a few years ago, my Art School Lift – see website – was an attempt at a text-based work adopting an “unobtrusive” approach similar to her own ).

Over the duration, a couple of people dropped out and they were replaced with Shandra Lamaute and Greg Thomas.  I’ve taken a somewhat organic approach to the project, letting the collaborations and works develop… I helped out with some practical things regarding the use of PVC texts, but that was about it


VerySmallKitchen writes: Thetextisthetext is reconfigured here through materials supplied by Gerry Smith. Experiencing the exhibition in this way prompts a realignment of relationships between art work, artist statement, email, press release, and installation. Some works and ideas of the exhibition at Patriothall are lost as the show fits into this new format, whilst others attain new form and prominence…




a series of commas – arranged almost like parenthesis (in response to the question “what is it like to be stationary?”)

an Arabic phrase: he advances one leg and draws back the other (in response to question “or or or?”)


Shandra Lamaute, Belong

show & untell

The collaboration between Becky Campbell and Shandra Lamaute is about process, communication, and interpretation. The project involved a series of dialogues, in person and by post, which finally culminated in a question that each person asked of the other. The display of the answers to these questions represents the process of their correspondence.

The project was developed as an exploration of how they could connect and collaborate with each other while still retaining their own artistic autonomy and identity. They approached the work with an understanding that they each came from different places (Scotland and the United States, respectively), they each have different modes of representation, and they explore different conceptual bases/subject matter. Through all these differences, there was a thread that connected both of their practices to one another: process.

It is through the similarities of their modes making that enabled them to create and allow their collaboration to manifest. Once they explored this connection, they decided to push the boundaries further, at the same time solidifying the concept and act of a collaboration, by allowing the other person to decide how their final letter should be presented within the show.




Catherine Sargeant and Dorothy Alexander write: Patriothall Stanzas are a collaborative work by Catherine Sargeant and Dorothy Alexander. The words/phrases used in these stanzas are taken from notes that artists in Patriothall leave to themselves around their studios.  Notes are left for many reasons: reminders of what is stored in a place, potential titles for paintings, things to do before leaving the studio at night etc.

Catherine gathered together this bizarre collection of words, which Dorothy turned into poetry.  Catherine then used found materials, slate and mirror to complement the poems.  These were chosen to imply the presence of the studio as a place of protection and also introspection.





Dorothy Alexander writes: FINAL WARNING is a series of poems in which techniques developed out of found poetry have been applied to an extract from the front page of a national newspaper. Poems were constructed from vocabularies formed by searching along and down through the paragraphs of the newspaper article. Letters, words, lines were then ‘re’placed in direct relation to their original positions within the base text.

Found is posited here as an ecopoetic, not only because of its inbuilt credentials as a recycler, but, more pertinently, for the non-hierarchical and inclusive nature of its processes. It invites acts of multiple attention (down to the smallest detail). It encourages heightened responsibility, in both writer and audience, for engagement with larger issues and strengthens resistance to notions of outside agency.


A PDF version of Sermons Hurt Curb Me from FINAL WARNING is here.




the pieces in this show typify what melville likes to do: erase, enlarge and examine.

there is a sentence, a bigger (incomplete) word, and an even bigger fragment.

he has also attempted to make worthless junk mail into commodities, with other tippex work available for closer scrutiny.








Greg Thomas writes: Articulation arranges the names of every bone in the human body by syllable count and stress position. It is concerned with the analogy between skeletal and phonetic articulation – consonants are bones, vowels are sinew, or blood or bile – and the idea that every act of naming and containing the body creates another body in sound, just like no act of social or cultural definition can defuse the essentially radical potential of being anything in time. Sing it to yourself.

Limbs Climb is a neat, clean poem. It shows what it says (except it could be a tree or a tendril or a leg). This might make you happy.

BodyinsOUND; Liminalanimal; Virtue and Sinew (card poems) are the titles for other poems that didn’t need to be written.





Alexa Hare writes: Embers is a new work for “The Text Is The Text” which sets text/lyrics from some of the artists involved in the show to a piece of music written and performed by Hare.

Gerry Smith writes: Alexa Hare’s Embers is a vocalisation of text extracts I sent her. They were taken from Roubaud’s The Great Fire Of London (English translation of). Her original intention was to create a piece of music from texts supplied by all those taking part, but in the end she opted to do Embers as apiece on its own.





… The text used in NV+7 for Isabel, before the structured substitution of its nouns and verb, originally read: “Something has disrupted the laws of the Universe” (Kelly, The Book of Lost Books, p426). December 2009 was the last time two full moons appeared within the same calendar month. Finally, if Lost in Translation gets the better of you, Yahoo’s “Babel Fish” might come in handy!

Noise is a concrete poem which attempts to represent computer noise.





Lisa Temple-Cox writes: The work made for this exhibition is part of a series of experiments derived from a process of self-portraiture as medical specimen. Derived from the didactic cast, or medical moulage, still used in teaching hospitals today, they seek to explore notions of identity as seen through part-features or disembodied faces.

The language of self-implied in the masks is made explicit by the snippets of text: conversations, references, reversals. The language of self is written on the skin: the closure of the eyes blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead. These things are of us, but not us, and piece-meal are encapsulated, half-hidden before the medical gaze.





thetextisthetext is at Patriothall Gallery, 1 Patriothall (off Hamilton Place), Stockbridge, Edinburgh, 8th-18th October 2011. Tue-Sun 12noon-5.30pm (Closed Mondays).



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.