Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Love poems from this girl (and boy) up near Seattle

Stefene Russell is usually right about things, or at least sees things in a way that makes sense to me, so when she sent me a note about "this girl up near Seattle" with a new show "(it's collaborative)" called Love Poems, I took a look.

In Love Poems, Aidan Koch writes on her website, she and her collaborator Paul Wagenblast "will be turning the literature of romance into a visual and corporeal experience for the modern human." As Stefene was hinting, their work is very much in the spirit of Poetry Scores, which has as its mission the translation of poetry into other media.

Aidan is translating poems into drawings, like this one apparently titled and inspired by "Mad Girl's Love Song" by Sylvia Plath. (Other poets they work with include William Blake, Rainer Maria Rilke and Charles Baudelaire: yeah, plenty to talk about with this girl!)

Stefene's brief note to me didn't even mention the drawings, however. She was more enthused about another medium. "There are costumes based on Rilke, Blake, Tennyson," Stefene writes. And, indeed, based on Plath, in this image from Aidan's Flickr site:

The photograph, I take it, is by her collaborator Paul Wagenblast, and his site has a nice page devoted to more of these poetry fashion images.

Stefene urged me, "We should invite her to do something for Les or something else in the future - she is really really good!" I agree! I most definitely will be asking Aidan and Paul if they want to play with us - perhaps, as Stefene suggested, in the Art Invitational we are pulling together to Les Murray's Sydney Highrise Variations, which we are scoring this year.

The fact of their own collaboration is a good sign, as is their basis in one of the great friendly cities of the world (Portland, Oregon), as is this welcoming note on Paul's site: "i am definitely interested in working with you".

How did you know we were going to ask?


Plucking their translations of Plath into drawing and costume out of selection of poets they are working with sent me burrowing through the internet tonight, seeing what media was out there on Sylvia; some interesting future posts will shake out of that process. For now, I'd send you over to Archive.org to experience Fuzz Orchestra's Lady Lazarus , a kind of atmospheric cabaret suite inspired by the poet.

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