Presentation by Jeff Derksen as part of North of InventionIntroduced by Bob Perelman
Followed by comments from Christian Bök, Lisa Robertson & others
At the Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania
I take conceptual writing to be a significant nexus of the possibilities that poetry brings as a historical genre, as a troubled commodity, as an artistic practice within an expanded field, and as a form of knowledge. As my title implies, I hope to trouble the temporalities of conceptual art in order to open possible trajectories for conceptual writing or conceptual poetry. So while I'm wary of the heroic periodising of conceptual art, I'm also approaching conceptual writing as itself being in an emergent moment rather than it being a residual aspect of conceptualism.
[. . . ]
It is out of this post-conceptual landscape, itself a reaction to the golden age of conceptualism, rather than a universal extension, as in, we're all post-conceptualists now, that I wish to use Jeff Wall, the photo-conceptual artist from Vancouver, his other tale of the productive failure of conceptualism to look at five aspects of conceptualism that can shape a temporally-jigged and slightly decentred reading of conceptual writing.
Jeff Wall, from the essay "Dan Graham's Kammerspiel," quoted by Derksen:
The historical character and the limitations of conceptualism stem from its intellectual and political location midway between the Dialectic of Enlightenment and The Society of the Spectacle; that is, between the acerbic defeatism of the Adorno-Horkeimer position, which sees art as a transcendental concretion and emblem of existing unfreedom, and the desperate anarchism of Debord's indignant cultural terrorism.
Objecthood to Publicness!
Michael Nardone lives in the Northwest Territories.
New poems to appear in Hobo and Poetry is Dead.