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Talk by Susan Bee & Charles Bernstein


© Poster by Rui Silva.

On October 10, 2019, Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein (University of Pennsylvania) will give a talk at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Coimbra, Sala Ferreira Lima, 11am (11h00). Titled “Little Orphan Anagram: The Collaborations of Susan Bee and Charles Bernstein”, this event is a joint organization of the PhD Programme in Materialities of Literature and the PhD Programme in Discourses: Culture, History, and Society, with the support of the Centre for Social Studies.

Susan Bee is a painter, collagist, editor, and book artist who focuses on the cinematic, ephemeral moments of everyday life.  Using old and offbeat movies as a visual resource, Bee plays upon the changing nature of cultural memory as well as the evolving connection between word and image. As seen on this page, Detour (2011) and Gun Crazy (2011) capture two fashionably dressed couples navigating a questionable narrative that is both cut and framed by the painting itself.  Bee replaces flat colors, in lieu of other details, that either pattern or foreshorten the background. One of her most recent paintings appears above, titled Votes for Women (2018) that is 30” x 40 and consists of oil, enamel, and sand on linen. The artist’s aesthetic focus on the representation and performance of interpersonal relationships also takes the form of intricate collage pieces.  The application of cutouts within fictitious painted landscapes renders a series of surrealist, dreamy experiences as colors clash together, as seen through a kaleidoscope, before resonating in a visual harmony. Bee has recently published a series in an artist’s book titled Fabulas Feminae, a collaboration with Johanna Drucker. Susan Bee’s art may be seen at the legendary A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn. All of her work may also be viewed at this link in addition to Accola Griefen Gallery.


Charles Bernstein taught poetry and poetics, with an emphasis on modernist and contemporary art, aesthetics, and performance. He is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he has recently retired. Bernstein has published five collections of essays — Pitch of Poetry (Chicago, 2016), Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions (Chicago, 2011), My Way: Speeches and Poems (Chicago, 1999), A Poetics (Harvard, 1992), and Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984. His books of poetry include Near/Miss (Oct. 2018),  Recalculating (Chicago, 2013),  All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Girly Man (Chicago, 2006), With Strings (Chicago, 2001), and Republics of Reality: 1975 – 1995 (Sun & Moon, 2000).  His libretto Shadowtime, for composer Brian Ferneyhough, was published in 2005 by Green Integer; it was performed as part of the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. Bernstein is the editor of several collections, including: American Poetry after 1975 (Duke University Press / special issue of boundary, 2009), Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word (Oxford, 1999), The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy (Roof, 1990), and the poetics magazine L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, whose first issue was published in 1978. He is editor of the Electronic Poetry Center and co-director (with Al Flireis) of PennSound.


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