Which Is To Say: Peter Gizzi Reads at the Laguna Art Museum


November 22nd, 2013





At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, poet Peter Gizzi, whose In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems 1987–2011 will be published by Wesleyan University Press in spring 2014, reads in the installation Which Is To Say by Richard Kraft with ten video projections surrounding him

The author of the highly lauded Threshold Songs and The Outernationale, Gizzi is the recipient of multiple honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets. “(Gizzi’s) innovation has been to treat the lyric like a big radio antenna, simultaneously transmitting and receiving eerie broadcasts from the air.” —Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker

Before the reading, at 1 p.m. there is an artist’s talk with Richard Kraft (upstairs in the museum) whose multiples have appeared in many editions of Siglio Ephemera and whose Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera—a wild, detournéd graphic novelette, appropriating a pre-Perestroika comic from Poland called Kapitan Kloss will be published by Siglio in 2014. An artist’s statement and installations views can be seen here.

The Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, CA. Ph: 949-494-8971. Both events free with museum admission ($5 for students / $7 general).

Look for Peter Gizzi and Richard Kraft’s collaboration In the Air, from Manor House Chapbooks, which will be available at the reading!


From the artist’s statement for WHICH IS TO SAY:

… in that all-encompassing labyrinthine flux of the animal, human, and divine, there would be an elephants trunk that ended in a man’s hand, or a boars head seemed to take the place of a woman’s.   —Thomas Mann, from The Transposed Heads

To juxtapose the disparate—to create or uncover the unexpected connection—is to look at the world with a sense of wonder, to see what lies beneath the familiar and explicable, and thus to call attention to what might be both confluence and paradox. I am drawn to situations in which things collide, irrespective of perceived borders in order to reveal the beauty of the inscrutable, the multitudinous.

My multi-disciplinary practice is informed by John Cage’s argument for “brushing one thing against another,” and what the photographer Frederick Sommer called “poetic logic,” which embraces the irrational, defies conclusions, and relentlessly poses questions. I create installations which are, on one hand, highly ordered, controlled, and contained by a rigorous sense of form, and on the other, allow for a great deal of imaginative movement on the part of the viewer. In this way I seek to replicate, in microcosm, the world itself, a space riddled with contradictions, ambiguities, and interruptions.

More on Richard Kraft.