Professor emerita Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University
The Conceptualist Poetics of Kenneth Goldsmith and Sophie Calle
Monday 7 December 1 pm – 2 pm in auditorium 21.0.54 Multisalen
Relying on appropriation, citation, copying, mashing, pasting, the conceptualists have collaged material that is patently not their own, their ‘voices’ are designed not to function as individual voices but to create new awareness of the world as they have found it. The difficulty, as we have witnessed this past year in the outcry over Kenneth Goldsmith’s The Body of Michael Brown, occurs when poet and subject are taken as one and the same so that Goldsmith was vilified for attempting to get ‘inside’ the body of the recent police victim, Michael Brown. Or, to take the opposite case, when the material appropriated is too obviously presented as a set of values the performer himself or herself is opposing, the audience may well lose interest. How can these extremes be avoided? How can conceptualism establish complexity and difference? I will discuss some of Goldsmith’s own earlier work, and Sophie Calle’s Prenez-soin de vous (Take Care of Yourself).