Thursday, 15 January 2009

Text Art Festival in Bury from April 30th

For those interested in the intersection of art and writing the second Text Art Festival in Bury promises to be great. Open Dialogues will be at the festival- do let us know if you are planning to attend.


Major UK festival of Text Art launches May 2009 in Bury

Groundbreaking event features exclusive appearances and commissions by international practitioners

The second Text Festival is a celebration of international poetics and language in art. With a greater focus on text in performance and sound art, this ambitious event features exhibitions and commissions from some of the world’s leading practitioners including US visual poet Geof Huth, US Poet Ron Silliman and artist Jenny Holzer as well as emerging artists.

Text Festival Director Tony Trehy explains, "With this only the second Text Festival to date, the event has already established itself as the most important international coming together of innovative poetry and conceptual art. This year the festival takes a much closer look at how the dialogue between these two fields impacts on film and multimedia."

Poetry Film
Met Arts Centre, Market Street, Bury
The Festival opens on Thursday 30 April 2009 with a survey of international poetry film, curated by Festival Director Tony Trehy and Canadian poetry-film expert Tom Konyves. Poetry Film is a burgeoning art form merging two practices in new challenging ways. The event will feature works from UK and international artists including a live performance of FUSES by international performance poet Caroline Bergvall.

Friday 1 May – Saturday 25 July 2009

The Agency of Words
Bury Art Gallery, Moss Street, Bury
The Agency of Words is a survey of works exploring the performative landscape of language and identity. Provocatively playful and deadly serious, the agency of words overlaps words as material, words as gesture, words as constructs of meaning and fiction.

Special commissions include Hester Reeve (HRH.the)’s explosive Canonisation of the Artist – pushed beyond the cultural norm and rendered temporarily absurd, the artist as saint and philosopher.

Berlin artists Ming Wong and Patrick Pannetta investigate different aspects of film and language realities – Pannetta in his appropriation of the narrative fiction of movie end credits and Wong in two works reconstructing film histories into his own world cinema.

The melancholy breath of Manchester artist Sarah Sanders gently blows away the hypocrisy of media war lies. Ben Gwilliam slowly overwrites William Boroughs, Irene Barberis from Australia re-writes the Apocalypse, Spencer Roberts reinvents Godot, Liz Collini’s refines words, and Debbie Booth inscribes the unspeakable.

Signs of the Times
Bury Museum, Moss Street, Bury

From advertising to road signs, from global branding to digital communications, text forms the visual and linguistic background to everyone’s existence. For poets and artists who use language the challenge has always been how to make it new. With new works by Carolyn Thompson and Nick Thurston, plus works from Jenny Holzer, Bury Museum investigates how strange and magical the written word and sign can be when lifted from history to create new meaning and recall old and perhaps re-usable ideas of language.
The exhibition will open with a performance by US visual poet Geof Huth.

Other festival highlights:

Saturday 2 May 2009

Poetry readings at Met Arts Centre from Tony Lopez, Phil Davenport, Carol Watts and the first ever UK performance by the leading American poet Ron Silliman. Silliman has emerged as a major figure in international poetry. Since 1974, Silliman has been working on a single poem, entitled Ketjak. Silliman's Ketjak project is composed of four works: The Age of Huts, Tjanting, The Alphabet, and Universe. His 1986 anthology In the American Tree remains a primary resource in this literary moment of Language Poetry and the Silliman blog is internationally regarded as the must-read source of world-wide developments in poetry


For further press information please contact Catharine Braithwaite on 07947 644 110 or

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