“A Poem of Emptiness" is the result of a textual intervention, the now pale newspaper text of the News of the World, April 11, 1954 is officially the most boring day of the 20th century. This official ‘nothing' echos Belgian poet, filmmaker and artist Marcel Broodthaers 1969 homage to French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s the 1887 Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice will never abolish chance).

 

The blacked out sections become Concrete Poetry where we feel the weight and the space of meaningless time. As the duration and effect of the newspapers typographical layout becomes visible so does the comic avoidance of the absence of ‘news’ or reference to the day itself. While the now displaced ordinary everyday words describing the day before singout as if freshly minted or newly discovered artifacts. Lee creates a poetry from these now foreign turns of phrase. The reflexive mindfulness of the values they contain contrasts deeply with the character of 24 Hour news cycles today.

The blacked out sections were hand brushed with graphic ink, possess an interesting expressive quality. The original text still showing through the material accumulation of semi-opaque ink. This DIY re-appropriation enters and takes hold the formal space of the ‘mass produced’ public time. The hands presence makes it personal, unconscious and imperfect. It is as if new time pours into the the past. Much as memory is remade anew as it is revived.”

 

---Text by Giuseppe Marasco