Published: a new article on The Photographer's Gallery

last day at the museum of futures (sochipoems)_0 (1).jpg

The first article relating to my course The Written Eye is now online alongside one of my photopoems from the sochi series I made in Latvia in 2015. 

https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/viewpoints/poetry-and-photography-essay

"An exploration of the intersections between poetry and photography is an act of defining terms. It is a process of identification. Of a question. But it does not entail an answer, necessarily. How does one align such disparity between mediums that can only be connected through recourse to metaphors? How does one move past the traditional alignment of image and word that tends to emphasise precisely this dislocation? To begin, we must ask ourselves what these mediums actually are, at heart, and then what they can be together? Finally, what is the purpose of their combination? What can they do together? And why is it relatively rare to see a cohesive combination of the two - with fidelity to poetry that isn’t just text, or discourse, or opinion, and photography that isn’t just pictorial?.........." 

A note on: The Night-Time Economy exhibition & special view in London

A lovely evening celebrating the exhibition Kate Mercer have produced this year, photography and poetry beautifully balanced, after visiting Newport, coming to London, with a good few dozen folk down in the basement gallery of Rich Mix, near Brick Lane, on one of the hottest days of the year. 

Great to have Nia Davies, Ghazal Mosadeq and Marcus Slease read too, all with new works responding to the themes of our work. Visit www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy and www.stevenjfowler.com/nighttimeeconomy

A note on: The Night Time Economy: an exhibition at Rich Mix Gallery - July 18th to 29th

The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition
by Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler in London at Rich Mix Gallery
www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

July 18th to 29th 2016 (Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Address: Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Special View - July Tuesday 19th 2016. Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies, Marcus Slease, Vanni Bianconi, Ghazal Mosadeq & others.

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights.

On July Tuesday 19th there will be a special view and reading from 7pm in the Gallery, which is adjacent to Rich Mix Cafe. For the evening multiple poets will present brand new work responding to the exhibition and its themes. https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/exhibitions/night-time-economy

A detailed description of how the project came to be, by Kate Mercer, can be found here http://katemercer.co.uk/funding-support-by-arts-council-of-wales-the-night-time-economy-with-s-j-fowler/ and an interview with Ben Glover of the Wales Arts Review, which explains further the exhibition and its process can be found here http://www.walesartsreview.org/24536/

The exhibition comes to London after a successful run at The Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport this past April. The poetry in the exhibition will be presented in English and Welsh, the latter translated by Eurig Salisbury. The project is possible thanks to the generous support of Arts Council Wales.

A note on: opening The Night-Time Economy exhibition in Newport, Wales

A wonderful night to open my new exhibition in collaboration with photographer Kate Mercer, we had a lovely crowd come out to the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport to see readings and discussions. More on the exhibition www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

Kate has done an incredible job in producing such a beautiful exhibition, the production was really extraordinary, with my poems beautifully framed alongside her wonderful photographs. Good to meet so many friendly local artists and well wishers who came out to support our project, and we managed to fit in three readings as well as a Q&A. A great beginning, the exhibition runs until the end of April and then comes to London, at Rich Mix, in July.

A note: The Night-Time Economy, an exhibition in Newport with Kate Mercer - April 6th to 30th

Newport: The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre April 6th to 30th 2016. (Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)
Address: Ground Floor Gallery, The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre, Kingsway, Newport. NP20 1HG
Special View - April 6th 2016. 7pm. Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies & Eurig Salisbury, followed by Q&A

London: Rich Mix Gallery - July 18th to 29th 2016 (Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Address: Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA
Special View - July 19th 2016. Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies & more, followed by Q&A

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

A detailed description of how the project came to be, by Kate Mercer, can be found here http://katemercer.co.uk/funding-support-by-arts-council-of-wales-the-night-time-economy-with-s-j-fowler/

Both Special View events on April 6th and July 19th will feature events celebrating the exhibition with new performances and the presence of Poetry Wales. The poetry in the exhibition will be presented in English and Welsh, the latter translated by Eurig Salisbury.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS and THEIR COLLABORATION:

From two completely different sides of the UK, S.J. Fowler and Kate Mercer identified with each other through a shared experience of working in the night-time economy. With Steven previously employed in nightclub security, and Kate as a bar manager in Newport, both felt an intense connection to the alternative reality of this world, and through this exhibition, reflect on how this environment changed them and their work.

The project's primary focus has been Newport, but not as an exception. The Night-Time Economy reflects Newport without judgement or irony, it is documentation in image and abstract language. With Newport undergoing a period of regeneration and redevelopment, the exhibition aims to recognise the role that the arts can play in celebrating the city, by its very presence. This project focuses on the multifaceted components of Newport's Night-time economy, pursuing a neutrality of topic whilst preserving a loyalty to the place.

This project has been made possible through a ‘Research & Development’ grant by the Arts Council of Wales with support from The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre (Newport) and Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre (London) for which the artists express their thanks.

Twins born Triplets - a new publication with Matteo X Patocchi

Really proud to work with Matteo, a brilliant Swiss photographer I've collaborated with in London on two projects, both of which have been developed over a few years now. This one, Twins born Triplets, features his beautiful innovative portraits of twins surrounding by my long poem for Pussy Riot, about Stalin, Khlebnikov and zygote splitting. He did an amazing job with the typography and an even better job sourcing a printer to render the work as a newspaper, an original format that really embodies the work beautifully. Here's his website http://www.matteopatocchi.com/ and email info@matteopatocchi.com if you want a copy, they are limited edition. Here's also a link to the amazing images in the book http://www.matteopatocchi.com/twins2.html

Museum of Debt online

Emanating out of Chris McCabe's groundbreaking collaboration course for the Poetry school, a new web resource for collaborative poetical material has been set up and features some of my work with the photographer Alexander Kell, called the Museum of Debt. http://newcollaborations.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/s-j-fowler-alexander-kell-museum-of-debt/

The Museum of Debt is an exploration of the unspoken in a contemporary British workplace – most specifically a workplace where the task in hand is the preservation of dead objects – inanimate historical trinkets which pass on their own ossification to their watchmen & watchwomen, and breed a myriad of depressions. Between the concussion of photography and irony of poetries, so the Museum of Debt is about mortality, and a mild form of waking death. Both poet & photographer involved were involved doing the job they documented. A project of internal projection with an innately shared set of meanings and experiences. The photographs were taken then the poems were written

xxxiv. the thin blue line between front of house &  back of house
short devil
o how I often want to bite my fingers off
when attending Events I must attend
that I hesitated to attend
my inner race, my struggle (translated)
my emotional poetry reading & racing
I’m pregnant, inseminated while winning
every rugby match that has ever taken place
so tired, in pajamas, with a boy
how he bites my clitoris, I believe a bear trap
is a forceful face in shadowy water
you tall devil, I
surrender

handlingen is thus - collaborating w/ Lone Eriksen

Lone Eriksen is a Danish photographer of some wonderful capability and skill. She and I met a few years ago before she moved back to Copenhagen, and since then has been a valued link to that city. We first collaborated for Rattle magazine, and then did so again, for our longer piece Brumhold's diary, which took in notion's of photography about photography, novels about novels and which appeared in the following issue of Rattle, and will feature in the Enemies book with penned in the margins.

Recently we have often been in touch and have collaborated once again. Lone has a photographer's sense of depth and space, and seems to pick up on my methods before I do, and thus was born a project which involved me eating into her beautiful critical commentary blogspace http://theactionisthus.tumblr.com/ and fashioning from it a poem, mulching text to become a new.

the poem http://theactionisthus.tumblr.com/poem & from Lone on the piece ... 

"The text, that is written in relation to the artistic work in the blogposts, should be seen as an approach to photography rather than absolute statements. I like the idea of disturbing the curatorial text and wanted to mimic the way that power is distributed on the internet through a textual dialogue. I contacted Steven, who I have collaborated with before and we agreed that he should use the text on the blog to create a new lyrical work. Here I should add, that the title on the blog point to a visual/textual collaboration we did a few years ago, in which the poem that Steven wrote starts out as follows: The action is thus - an icon is painted before us (...)

The poem title what photography is: light, colour and form completes the title of the blog, which now reads The action is thus - what photography is: light, colour and form.

The poem is made up entirely of words and sentences from the blog posts about Qiu-Yang, Gina ZachariasBoris Mikhailov and Tereza Zelenkova respectively. The textual fragments from the blog posts are highlighted in pink and linked to the poem page. The contrasting colours, blue and pink halt my reading process.  

The curatorial text is cut into pieces, pasted back together and presented in a new lyrical form. Although the poem is also talking about photography it seems to be talking to the senses rather than trying to make sense. It has a mysterious performance quality similar to that of the photograph; I can talk about what the poem is doing, but I cannot determine and fix it's meaning. It's doing depends on the person facing it and the context of the encounter.

If writing is authoritative, then the poem present the curatorial text as staged and ideological. The dialogue between the poem, the text on photography as performance and the artistic works is playful, yet it is a power struggle." 

a privilege to work with such a mind and such an eye www.loneeriksen.com