It is possible to think about poetry in several ways; here are three of them:
a) Poetry as beautiful form; the beauty of the form, sentence, verb, of the object, the rhyme, of the sound; beautiful ways to say something – the flower, woman, cadaver, garbage –, or of saying beautiful things. It is therefore, poetry as beauty;
b) Poetry as exactness; exactness as a form of resistance against the infinitude of language – to say the right names of the right things, to give to certain things the right names. It is therefore poetry as exactness;
c) Poetry as interruption; to say what has not been said, in a way as never before; poetry that interrupts common-sense, the common way of saying, the habitual use, the rhyme between the name and the thing; a poetry that does not allow transparency to language, that is, that one does not see clearly what it is it speaks about. A poetry that hyphenizes – links – foreign things, like in a collage, that levels all that is in the surface and thus constructs a whole that is heterodox, strange, uncertain. A poetry that by interrupting, points to something that has not been pointed out before; a poetry that underwhelms expectations; to see the new in the same, to perceive what is strange in the evident. It is therefore poetry as politics.
Poetry – as well as art, – will not be political because it refers to political things, or because it adopts a strategy of denouncement, of action or activism, but because it deactivates in its interior crystalized workings, because it sets language wide open and, consequently, the world. Only thus can poetry – as well as art – be political.
Poetry has a terrible reputation nowadays; poetic is that which presents a beautiful form or something that does not have an explicit, clear meaning; or, otherwise, poetic is that which occupies a diffuse space – the gap between what is beautiful and what is mysterious, or between beauty and ignorance. It is in this context that poetry or the poetic are often invoked. Thus, poetry is understood as a multi-functional, multifaceted attachment of all other categories of things (artistic or otherwise). This is therefore an in extremis formulation, that means all or nothing, and is therefore, devoid of meaning, and therefore, does not mean anything.
Similarly, another increasingly recurring formulation in artistic discourses, and that has a shapeless and pasty meaning, is political art. Rare are the artists today – rare the works, rare the texts, rare the exhibitions – that do not try to recover a certain intent, functioning or political outcome, in an attempt to escape the innocuity of actions, in an attempt to escape an autistic art, unconnected with the real world, inconsequential, that serves no purpose. The problem of political art raises the fundamental question – what can the outside value of art be (outside of its restricted field)? Or how can art finally be political? And what does political mean in the artistic field? An assumption is immediately required – the political possibility of art is not the same as art being able to do politics; when art tries to make politics, its manifestations usually have an obvious, naïve or even juvenile, prescriptive or patronizing appearance, in clear contradiction with the intention of freedom and liberation – of emancipation and equality – that would justify them a priori.
This online residency will be established between these two critical poles (poetry and political art), poles that, from a certain viewpoint, will be practically coincident, virtually synonymous. This online residency will specifically try to balance itself in the short but unstable line that unites them – a residency on a line, funambulist. The residency will feature three distinct facets that are concurrent and at times simultaneous; concurrent, meaning that one may start from different points but the goal is the same; concurrent means that they meet in the end, that the paths funnel down into one single pressure point:
a) Critical texts on art, of uncertain periodicity, that derive from our understanding of politics and poetry;
b) Five weekly posts, totalling forty; this is a selection from a daily online project on language and the everyday Inappropriate Poetry. Each week will be devoted to a theme: week 1 (Findings I), week 2 (Language), week 3 (Body I), week 4 (Actions), week 5 (Body II), week 6 (Everyday), week 7 (Findings II), week 8 (Body III);
c) Between five to eight videos; these videos come out of the project Inappropriate Poetry; they have the same internal logic, that is, they’re a work on the everyday, more specifically, and mainly, about the city.
The point where these three facets meet is the concept of interruption. Understood as interruption, poetry can provide a possible model for the functioning of a political art. Of politics one can say that it presents the following mechanics: all that is political interrupts; not everything that interrupts is political.