Visited Margate for the Turner Contemporary exhibition last weekend – when the sun was shining! – and had to take photos of the Blue Plaque!
The following event is here highlighted to suggest an interesting interpretation of the call for ideas and events around the Turner Contemporary exhibition Journeys with “The Waste Land”.
Over the weekend of 22-23rd April 2018 an event Nothing From Nothing was staged by Sophie Dixon and Claire Orme at Margate’s Limbo Arts. They invited a group of ten artists to consider the notion of editing, from the relationship between TS Eliot and Ezra Pound. Pound actively edited Eliot’s manuscript of “The Waste Land”, offering revisions and suggestions to create the poem we know today. TS Eliot declared that Pound “is more responsible for the twentieth-century revolution in poetry than is any other individual.” They were friends and worked together on editing the poem. There is an interesting article on the British Library’s website, Ezra Pound and the drafts of “The Waste Land” by Mark Ford, discussing the revisions and swathes of lines cut by Pound, along with images of the amended manuscript. Ford quotes Pound’s editorial comment: ‘verse not interesting enough as verse to warrant so much of it’ and we can understand how so much of the original was cut. Eliot considered Pound to be “Il miglior fabbro” or “the better craftsman” as he says in his dedication of the poem.
For the Limbo artists it was the challenge of working in pairs, an exercise defined by a time limit, allowing the work to be devised and edited by the partners that formed the stimulus for the piece. The work culminated in a performance or presentation of the artwork and a discussion with the audience to follow.
Speaking to the organisers it was interesting that the chosen medium was overwhelmingly film. No props or material had been provided, just space and time, albeit limited, and it was to the mobile phone’s video capacity the artists took to inspire the day. Encouraged by the brilliant sunshine and the many visitors to Margate the former electrical substation that is Limbo’s base, hardly saw the artists as they set about the task.
The plan to go with the flow, to not impose any restrictions or ideas meant that the expected exhibition of work the following day in the exhibition space did not happen. The walls were bare as the expected paint and collage did not materialise! Such is the challenge and excitement of exploring an idea with few boundaries – you cannot predict the outcome!
Many people are asking where to find the poem read out aloud. This is a favourite with Jeremy Irons and Eileen Atkins for Radio 4: