This month I am pleased to announce two piquant festivals. As intellectually rigorous as they are delectable, these energetic initiatives focus on how we engage with visual art and poetry today.
Poetry has, for decades, been a reflective exercise. Poetry readers and writers alike sift through verses for a route to their inner selves. The founder of French surrealism André Breton writes in his most celebrated work, Nadja, “Dis-moi qui tu hantes, je te dirai qui tu es” (“Tell me who you haunt and I will tell you who you are”), and René Char’s poem “Allegiance,” states, “Il cherche son pareil dans le voeu des regards” (“He looks for his equal in the promise of gazes”). Both citations remind us of the persistent themes of reflection and self-discovery in poetry.
Two festivals this month lead us to a deeper understanding ourselves through art. Poet’s Spring presents an eclectic experience of English and Francophone poetry, offering a diverse program of voices, sounds, drawings, and stories in which new poets and established masters use literary panache to express their social and political convictions. Multi-cultural events will take place in mid-April at Silvana, the Poet’s House, McNally Jackson Books, The Public Theater, and other varied and acclaimed venues, reflecting the complex and innovative nature of poetry.
ART², taking place in April, lets us examine our world through the lens of contemporary art. It is a month-long visual arts festival exploring ideas and themes paramount to the international art world that will be presented with 40 partner museums, galleries, universities, and non-profit spaces. The culmination of 18 months of research, ART² will consider key issues in today’s art world through exhibitions, public lectures, workshops and conferences, with the goal of encouraging intellectual discourse. On the occasion of this festival, 4 publications examining art today will be published by Les presses du réel – New York Series.
By actively listening to the verses of politically engaged poets, and by appraising our international art world today, we gain valuable feedback on the state of our society today. Join me this month, mes amis, in celebrating poetry and thinking critically about the state of our world.
I wish you a month full of reflection and play!