Klang Farben Text is a three-day visual poetry festival taking place at the Lyrik Kabinett in Munich on 3–5 March 2020. There will then be a follow-on event on 8 April 2020 at the National Poetry Library in London, which forms part of the European Poetry Festival.
Inspired by the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s the exhibition celebrates how that movement has impacted a new generation of poets and artists. The printed word is transformed into film and performance demonstrating how concrete poetry has transcended beyond the book and printing press into an experiential art form for the 21st Century.
Curated by SJ Fowler and Chris McCabe, both poets, performers and editors of visual poetry, this exhibition aims to create an innovative and dynamic dialogue between UK and German poets and artists. The exhibition builds on the celebrated anthology The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century which was published by the Hayward Gallery in 2015, which was co-edited by McCabe and includes work by Fowler. Klang Farben Text (sound-colour-text) will take the form in performative collaborations between UK visual poets and contemporary German poets and a screening of concrete poetry films produced between the 1960s to the present day.
The UK poets are: Chris McCabe, SJ Fowler, Kimberly Campanello, Barrie Tullett, Robert Montgomery, Victoria Bean.
The German poets are: Gerhild Ebel, FALKNER, Angelika Janz, Michael Lentz, Benedikt Kuhn, Jürgen O. Olbrich, with special guest Eugen Gomringer.
“The international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s didn't end, it exploded into the work of a new generation of contemporary poets and artists. Klang Farben Text brings this UK and German generation together for a three-day celebration of visual poetry in sound, film and live performance" – SJ Fowler, Chris McCabe, curators
Concrete Poetry Films:There will be a looped series of concrete poetry films throughout the programme. These films document the development of concrete poetry from the 1960s to the current day, demonstrating how the form has extended out from the page into moving image and sound. The aim is to show how the current visual poetry scene remains true to the international focus of the original Concrete poetry movement.
The format for the festival will be:
- 3 March 2020: evening public event with Eugen Gomringer as ‘keynote’/guest speaker followed by tasters of each of the 12 collaborating poets
- 4 March and 5 March 2020 evening public events with the collaborating poets (six poets i.e. three pairs per night) One of the public events will feature a whole group performance
- One of the public events will feature a whole group performance
- Days set aside for collaborative work between the pairs of poets and as a group; organising a performance of a shared text
Each individual performance will also include a very short presentation / reading of a classic UK/German concrete poem. This will help join up contemporary practice with the original concrete movement, as well as enriching the poets by learning of other works from the UK/German culture.
Poets' films to run through the three days on loop.
See the Lyrik Kabinett website for more details.
For short biographies of each of the poets taking part, see below.