(a community generated poem – constructed on
site by A. P. Sullivan – for Robin Hill: Recent Cullings
Opening at the JAYJAY Gallery, May 10, 2008)
In the purgatory of the two-dimensional we become
very small like insect bodies in the C-clamp of
the past pinching our lead type that spells “more”
and “love.” Is he filming you? Is that wax?
Kind of like water, but not. It’s not about it, but
a situation, says Robin. A sense of alluvial
flooding if you have any questions. Today, we throw
nothing away – we throw everything on the floor:
the waxy rhythm of echoes, the piled concrete
of clouds, the jumbled cushions of usage.
Your eyes pick up the wax coins, the non-
monumental indications in lint. “Puzzling
carton constructs energy machine.” How
did she arrive at a price for that work?
We, stuffed inside cubes, mounted the blue
specimen with great irony near the divan.
Our cells make a very solitary mute music.
Today we throw away nothing, not the last
drop of wax, not the chaotic, loud, wet, primordial,
turbulent, energetic, not even the marshmallows, Pez
dispensers and Milagros. That’s why – I’m not
referring to logic here – shadows stack as loud
as cotton falls. Mica, my friends, is 600 million
years old and comes from the Latin for “crumb,”
“grain,” or “little bit.” The inevitable question:
what are we contributing to the world?
On the occasion of the opening for the exhibition poet Andrew Sullivan created an on-site community generated poem utilizing a questionnaire which he distributed among visitors. After 2 hours of collection, he composed a poem using only words culled from the questionnaires.
“Shift one’s perception to embrace small as big, simple as complex, low-end as high-end, accidental as purposeful, incidental as noteworthy.”
– Robin Hill
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.”
– Henry David Thoreau
On-site community-generated-poem questionnaire (one)
As you contemplate Robin Hill’s work, please respond to any or all of the following questions and prompts – your participation is vital in the construction of a community-generated poem for “Recent Cullings”
1. If “Recent Cullings” were the name of a poem, write the first and/or last line of that poem. For extra fun, use the word(s) “lint,” “mica,” and/or “wax.”
2. Choose a piece in the show and give it a different name. Write that name here:
3. Share two verbs, two adjectives, and two nouns describing or inspired by the work in “Recent Cullings.”
4. Describe one of Robin Hill’s works using one or more of your five or more senses.
5. Write down something you overheard someone say this evening about “Recent Cullings.”
On-site community-generated-poem questionnaire (two)
1. Describe one of the pieces or your response to one of the pieces by means of synesthesia (mixing of senses: “I smell the music of bees in wax.”)
2. Name a few items you threw away today – including recyclables.
3. What one or two things would you give to Robin Hill to incorporate into her art?
4. Name some things you collect and covet for no particular reason.
5. If one of the pieces in the show were to speak, what would it say?
On-site community-generated-poem questionnaire (three)
1. Please complete the simile: “We become very small like…”
2. Using the following construction, create a metaphor inspired by Robin Hill’s work: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun)
3. Write a prediction about one of the pieces in “Recent Cullings.” What will happen to it?
4. Briefly write about one of the pieces in a language other than English.
5. Choose one of the pieces in the show. How did Robin Hill make this object? In what order were its elements assembled?