Tuesday, July 23, 2013

(2013) Ink on newspaper,  spelling out Stanza IX from Yet Dish (1913) by Gertrude Stein, serialized over a 10 week period, in exhibition at Gridspace Studio, Bklyn NY, Summer 2013

"Altering a poem by Gertrude Stein onto current pages of the New York Times, Jeanne Liotta occupied the grid for 10 weeks, changing the stanza weekly, thus recreating a poem that spans time in a number of different directions." Charles Goldman, Gridspace

This was a while ago now, but I still count my reading of A Primer for the Gradual Understanding of Gertrude Stein (Black Sparrow Press 1973 ) as the key that opened up Stein's writings to me.  It was here I discovered there was something called *the progressive present tense*, which could be further teased into the continuous present tense and the prolonged present tense.  At the risk of embarrassing my younger self I will admit that I was pretty excited to realize there were so many ways of being in the present and they moved at different speeds.  So I came to understand her work in this way: how to explore the feeling of being present using the rules of language.  

Fast forward to Now and I still look to her to keep me here.  I particularly love her long poem Yet Dish, written exactly 100 years ago. You can read it in its entirety right here.  I also love my local paper The New York Times because it's so ephemeral; it comes out every day and every day it's different.  The use of the current newspaper  keeps the Stein text as fresh as the day it was written one hundred years ago, as the letters used to make news and poetry intermingle.  I use the alphabet in the same order Gertrude did to make this poem,  however I break her lines so as to run inside the constraint of the Gridspace Gallery windows. A new line is posted in the windows each week, as below in situ. Thanks to Charles Goldman for the invitation and the vision and the documentation. 

Who runs may read,

Jeanne Liotta 

Summer 2013











random studio shots