Saturday, August 11, 2018
1108 West Broadway Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Blackness and the Not-Yet-Finished is a performative response to several pieces within Douglas Kearney's book Mess and Mess and that speak to the plasticity of blackness, that it is always on the move. That as much as one may desire to shape the borders of blackness or identify it as home, it is tricky, trickster, an unwieldy thing.
Join as Mn Artists presents and Juxtaposition Arts hosts this reading and response with Douglas Kearney and Chaun Webster. Chaun Webster will serve as guest editor of Mn Artists from August through October 2018, and this event kicks off the series of original arts writing, also titled Blackness and the Not-Yet-Finished.
Poet and graphic designer Chaun Webster draws from an interest in the work of sign in graffiti, the layering of collage, and the visuality of text. These methods are used in Webster’s work to investigate race – specifically the instability of blackness and black subjectivities, geography, memory, and the body. Correspondingly much of these investigations engage the question of absence, how to archive what is missing from the landscape particularly as a number of communities watch in real time, neighborhoods once populated with familiar presences, dissolve in the vernacular of redevelopment and its attendant colonial logic. Webster’s debut book, GeNtry!fication: or the scene of the crime, was published by Noemi Press April 2018.
Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” His collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood and was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues (Subito Press 2016) collects several of his libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language of which M. NourbeSe Philip writes: “[it] meets the anguish that is english in a seismic, polyphonic mash-up that disturbs the tongue.” He was the guest editor for 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Indiana Review; and anthologies, including Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, Of Poetry and Protest, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, The Breakbeat Poets, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts.
Mn Artists is home to art, writing, opportunities and conversation, online and off, by, for and about Midwestern artists working in every discipline. A program of the Walker Art Center, Mn Artists is dedicated to improving the quality and national visibility of regionally-rooted art, artists and cultural dialogue through a dynamic online community, responsive arts journalism, and by giving artists access to, and connections with, collaborators, influencers and the public.
Mn Artists is made possible by generous support from The McKnight Foundation.