The Adventures of Materia(l): Ibero-American Experimental Poetry between Object, Language and Performance

PROJECTOUTLINE

Ernesto de Melo e Castro, Pêndulo, LLEOM, 1961

© Ernesto de Melo e Castro

The late 1960s’ Neo-avant-gardes started to experiment with artistic-poetic artifacts that transcended and challenged definitions and limits of literature and plastic arts. These experiments culminated in the 1970s and 1980s in the practice of experimental poetry in the Ibero-American world that ranges from visual, sound and installation poetry to performance. Strikingly, it was coined at a moment of disparate socio-political developments in the region. The chasm between technological modernization and extreme social inequality produced especially in Latin America contradictions in these two decades. Societies were flooded with industrially produced goods to which only a small part of the population had access. Radio, TV and colored print media increased the circulation of information while repressive regimes in many Latin American countries and the Iberian Peninsula practiced a harsh censorship.

the chasm between technological modernization and extreme social inequality produced especially in Latin America contradictions in these two decades.

Vigo, Edgardo A. Obras (in)completas. 

La Plata: Ed. Diagonal Cero, 1969.

© Vigo Edgardo

This research project investigates practices of experimental poetry in Latin America, Spain and Portugal under the conditions of repressive regimes. It draws attention to their subversive and transformative potential in seemingly contradictory situations and inquires the relation of phenomenologically coined material reality, the human body and word semantics. It interrogates how such a radical understanding of poetry and avant-garde practices could develop in the socio-political context of authoritarian regimes and cultural censorship. And it inquires radical poetry’s potential and possibility to express critical positions. Ultimately, it draws attention to alternative associations such as transregional networks of artists and poets and the places of (re)presentation of their works. These play a central role in the development of the radical works, and Mail Art is of major importance in the construction of transregional networks. Overall the project’s scope is to connect the voids at the limits of literary studies and art historical practice through the study of material aesthetics under conditions of repression and censorship.

Overall the project’s scope is to connect the voids at the limits of literary studies and art historical practice through the study of material aesthetics under conditions of repression and censorship.

BIO

DR. DES. PAULINE BACHMANN

Pauline Bachmann has always been interested in working at the disciplinary limits of art and literature. She studied Latin American Studies, Art History and History at Freie Universität Berlin where she graduated with a Master’s on Representations of the Carribean in Central American Novels in 2010. Between 2011 and 2017 she was a research fellow of the DFG-funded Research Group „Transcultural Negotiations in the Ambits of Art“ also at Freie Universität Berlin. Nevertheless, she received her PhD in May 2017 from the Universität Zürich in Portuguese Literature. Her thesis inquires conceptions of embodiment in the Brazilian Neoconcrete Movement in Rio de Janeiro (1957-1967). Pauline also studied in Costa Rica (UNA), Mexico (COLMEX) and France (Université de Nantes).

SELECTEDPUBLICATIONS

  1. Forma e escritura: a ambiguidade do objeto neoconcreto”, in: Klengel, Susanne, and Jasmin Wrobel (eds.): Roteiros de palavras e imagens: Poesia concreta, transmidialidade poética e tradução. Berlin (forthcoming).

  2. With Melanie Klein, Tomoko Mamine, Georg Vasold (eds.). Art/Histories in Transcultural Dynamics. Paderborn, 2017 (in print).

  3. With Susanne Neubauer, Andreas Valentin (eds.). Hélio Oiticica in New York. Aufsatz und Filminterview mit Andreas Valentin. Berlin, 2017.

  4. Arte moderno en Brasil: Estrategias de producción y distribución entre geoestética y lengua universal”, in: Istmo, Revista virtual de estudios literarios y culturales centroamericanos, 2013: 25-26.