Booming Poetry | From the insight to the outbreak

“Making a poem is like the nature makes a tree”

– Vicente Huidobro.

During years I was a victim of shyness, as an incurable disease which brought poetry from aftermaths. Unequivocal symptom of a job that until today it turns a penance and people show it asking you the same classic, but not inane question: “Do you keep writing?”, just like this wonderful act of obstinacy could be compared with a cold o something that can be healed with a medical prescription. They don’t know that writing it is go against time and the serial automatism that society try to impose.

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The most curious thing happens when you are convinced of being something extinct, and you see that around you there are others who, in addition to sharing your condition, have made literature their lifeline and have survived clinging to a calligraphy such as Huidobro or an artifact like Parra, but in addition to them, a whole group of poets that make up this exhibition that is displayed in the room Chile of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, called Poesía en Expansión, and which is recognized through 40 works of the MNBA collection, where as her curator Paula Honorato, we realize the emancipation of poetry with respect to traditional writing.

Here it is not just about looking for new forms of expression, but rather discovering how poetry abandons its cryptic space and settles in an art museum with engravings, paintings, collages, books, objects, interventions or animated and sound poems, with a ambivalent way of doing and saying, expanding its field of action towards that secret alliance between literature and art, where showing the “other face of poetry”, sometimes could be for the neophyte something disconcerting. However, it is important to note that the route begins with Muolin, a calligraphy of Vicente Huidobro made in tempera in 1922, which is part of his modernist era with an early look that reveals the infinite derivations of poetic language, where the obstacles puts the reader or in this case the spectator, who sees his spectrum of recognition altered. Because as Huidobro said, it is necessary to: “Create a poem borrowing life from their motives and transforming them to grant them new life and independence”.

For the rest, it is not strange to meet Juan Luis Martínez, making the word end in a combinatorial iconographic and objectual elements, giving rise to a new conception and multilingual and visual intertextuality, which is reflected in the vowels of Rimbaud (1975- 1976) and El lenguaje de la moda (1979), where he creates a singular poetic pastiche with which he alludes to the great icons of universal literature, as well as other extraliterary much more pedestrian.

Cecilia Vicuña
Cecilia Vicuña

It can also be argued quite reasonably that beyond the exhaustive or not of the whole, in Booming Poetry the mode of representation does not obey a classification or label, therefore its maximum success lies in the impossibility of tracing the works, since they are adapting to the historical-literary moment that they challenge, as in the Quebrantahuesos (1952), collective work done by Nicanor Parra, Enrique Lihn, Alejandro Jodorowsky, among others, with newspaper clippings in opposition to the exquisite surrealist corpse and developed as a textual happening that deals unexpectedly with the events of an era, contrasting outright with the intellectual syncretism of Ronald Kay, and his Signomontajes (1974) or the monumental and sententious land art Ni pena ni miedo (1995) by Raúl Zurita, with verses written in the desert of Atacama and that are folded to others outlined in the sky, with a message as fleeting as imperishable, that unintentionally intersects with n the simple subtlety of Ludwig Zeller‘s collage, Para que beban los conejitos (2012), la Imagen e idea (2009) by Carlos Montes de Oca, and the “intrabajable” boldness of Claudio Bertoni and his series of brief poetic sculptures made with objects returned by the sea.

The truth is that here there is no poetic or conceptual hegemony, on the contrary the game of deployed associations far exceed expectations, as it happens with Archivo Zonoglo (1986-2006), a set of fifteen thousand bibliographic -poetic records with which Gonzalo Millán further narrowed the interdisciplinary distance by incorporating drawings, engravings, watercolors and photomontages extracted from mass culture and from an imaginary that responds to an experimental current that is already noticed prematurely in Guillermo Deisler and Gregorio Berchenko, who opened a gap to a poetry that did not take place within the conventional structures of the decade 60’s-70’s, which Cecilia Vicuña would continue from the exclusive field of painting, silencing the poem in Retrato Doble (1971), transforming itself into a new artist this poetic transgression. A task that over the years is again expressed in Poemas animados (2006) by Martín Bakero, who through a sound and visual journey based on characters creates a kaleidoscopic and guttural poem, which also agrees with what was projected by the Foro de Escritores (2003 – 2010), collective experience inspired by the Writer Forum of the London poet Bob Cobbins.

Moulin, Vicente Huidobro
Moulin, Vicente Huidobro

Consequently, over the authors, the techniques or the materiality in which they were conceived, the contribution of Booming Poetry, is to worry about putting in value works that for the simple fact of crossing their natural frontiers, have often remained hidden or unknown, and only now with this brief poetic-plastic chronology, we appreciate the weight of these artists who have understood that creation is not confined to a genre, but continues to expand along with other disciplines and aesthetic currents that at the same time with the new technologies, they give rise to this creative big-bang or interstitial outburst that never ends.



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