In this lyric lecture on queer love poems, a perhaps-too-close reading, Sophie Seita treats poetic lines taken from Wendy Lotterman’s poetry as if they were part of their ongoing dialogue and epistolary friendship. The piece also thinks about ‘the prurient’ as an aesthetic category of queer interpretation, what it means to write about and ‘use’ our friends’ words, or to read queer poems to a lover, and in this way put a spin on the avant-garde’s proclaimed desire for social efficacy. The lecture also performs ‘form’ through what could be called experimental or dialogic criticism, letting texts or voices correspond with each other on the page, sonically or visually, where argument and explanation emerge through association and juxtaposition. In this way, it’s an intimate unravelling and enfolding of many scenes of reading.
Yes to feelings as guests that one can properly address!
Wish me luck that my emotional quandaries will somehow magically resolve themselves.
Sophie Seita is a London-based artist, writer, and educator whose work explores text in its various translations into book objects, performances, videos, or other languages and embodiments. She works internationally on several creative and critical projects; most recently and together with Naomi Woo, she’s co-created a performance and community-oriented public art project, rooted in speculative and collaborative research on queer-feminist gardeners, funded by the British Council, Canada Council, Canada High Commission, and Farnham Maltings. Other work has been shown at [SPACE], La MaMa Galleria (NYC), Printed Matter (NYC), Bold Tendencies, the Royal Academy, the Serpentine, Queer Art Projects, Flat Time House/Up Projects, Raven Row, Parasol Unit, Art Night London, the Arnolfini, Kunsthalle Darmstadt (Germany), JNU (New Delhi), Heong Gallery and Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge) and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor at Boston University, co-organises the interdisciplinary Sound/Text seminar at Harvard, and is a visiting tutor on the Alternative Education Programme at Rupert in Vilnius, Lithuania, and the MSt in Writing for Performance at Cambridge University. At the moment, she’s working on a book of experimental essays, titled Lessons of Decal; a book on performance art, called Literary Live Art, a translation of Uljana Wolf’s Etymological Gossip (forthcoming with Nightboat), and various performances and collaborations. More info on her performances, publications, and other projects can be found here: https://www.sophieseita.com/
Organised by Dr Alice Butler (The Courtauld) as part of the “What a Hazard a Letter Is”: Correspondence in Feminist Art, Art Writing, and Art History, from Emily Dickinson to Now series.