T. Renner, "Sydney High Rise Variation #16 for Les Murray," 2009, acrylic on paper, 4" x 6".
The official Poetry Scores Art Invitational press release:
On Friday, November 13, Poetry Scores will celebrate the release of its fourth poetry score CD with an Art Invitational devoted to the same poem, "The Sydney Highrise Variations" by the Australian poet Les Murray.
The host venue, The Luminary Center for the Arts, is located at 4900 Reber Place at Kingshighway, just across the street from Tower Grove Park and just down the block from The Royale, which will host an after-party following the 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. release party and art opening. (See below for list of artists.)
The concept of a Poetry Scores Art Invitational is simple. Contributing artists make work that responds to the poem, and they title the work after a verbatim quote from the poem. The titles then dictate where in the show the pieces are placed, as the work is positioned according to where in the flow of the poem the language used for the title appears. In this way, in a sense, it is the poem itself that hangs the show.
The Sydney Highrise Variations Art Invitational also will be a silent auction, where the artists themselves set their opening bids (low). At the end of bidding, all sales are concluded the night of the show and proceeds are split evenly between the artist, the venue and Poetry Scores, a St. Louis-based arts organization that translates poetry into other media. (Cash, check or credit accepted for sales.)
The organization’s primary artistic form is one it innovated: the poetry score, a long poem set to music as one scores a film.
The November 13 Art Invitational will also be a release party for the poetry score The Sydney Highrise Variations, co-produced by Matt Fuller and Chris King, and featuring the music of Three Fried Men, Middle Sleep (post-progressive rock improvisers from early 1980’s Los Angeles), Robert Goetz and Frank Heyer.
Limited quantities of the organization’s three previous poetry scores, Go South for Animal Index, Blind Cat Black and Crossing America by Leo Connellan, also will be available for sale. While supplies last, all CD purchases come with a complimentary beverage from Schlafly Beer or O’Fallon Brewing.
Contributing artists for the Art Invitational, in the order their work will appear in the show, include Greg Edmondson, Andrew Torch, Michael Hoffman, John Minkoff, Tim McAvin, Jenna Bauer, Kim Humphries, Keith Buchholz, Amy Alton Bautz, Lyndsey Scott, Brea McAnally, Hap Phillips, Grace Woodard, Dana Smith, Kim Richardson, Kevin Belford, Christopher Gustave, Amy VanDonsel, Michael Behle, Heather Corley, Melanie Persch, Thom Fletcher, Chris King, Stefene Russell, Carmelita Nunez, Jason Wallace Triefenbach, Alexa Hoyer, Jon Cournoyer, Tim Meehan, robin street-morris, Goran Maric, Colin Michael Shaw, Daniel Shown, Tony Renner and Eric Woods of Firecracker Press.
Other confirmed artists who have not yet provided the title from the poem they are using for their work include Gina Alvarez, Nancy Exarhu, Alicia LaChance, Dianna Lucas, Julie Malone, Michael Paradise, Justin Tolentino, Cindy Tower and Robert Van Dillen.
In an essay he composed on commission for the Poetry Scores CD liner notes, Les Murray’s biographer Peter F. Alexander writes, "'The Sydney Highrise Variations' is a set of five linked poems which Les Murray first published in 1980, and subsequently included in his volume The People’s Otherworld (1982). The entire sequence is a meditation about the complex culture of the modern world, and Australia’s place in it."
Alexander –- a professor of English at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and author of Les Murray: A Life in Progress (Oxford University Press) -- concludes his essay: "The whole poem sequence derives its tension from this ambiguous response to the modern world. Murray ultimately is both excited and repelled by modernity, even as he feels himself 'vibrant with modernity’s strange anger'. His is an older and a newer vision, both seeing modernism’s history and anticipating what will replace it."
For more information about Poetry Scores or this event, contact creative director Chris King at 314-265-1435 or brodog [@] hotmail.com.
Poetry Scores is an arts organization based in St. Louis, Missouri (U.S.A.) devoted to translating poetry into other media. It has been featured on BBC Radio 3, NPR and in most local media. Poetry Scores is a Missouri non-profit organization. Its Board of Directors includes: Dianna Lucas (president), Serra Bording-Jones (treasurer), Stefene Russell (secretary), John Eiler, Matt Fernandes, Chris King, Stephen Lindsley, Charlois Lumpkins and K. Curtis Lyle.
Poetry Scores acknowledges the continuing support of Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, KDHX Community Media, Schlafly Beer, O’Fallon Brewing, host venues past and present (The Luminary, Hoffman LaChance, Mad Art), and all contributing artists.