Beyond Word

30 May – 24 Jun 2013

Where do we look for the form within contemporary visual poetry? 

This was the fundamental question posed by the author of the exhibition project, Barbora Toman Tylova (born 1981). She approached the specified problem from a graphic design perspective. Much like visual poetry is an incisive area of words and images, the expressive means chosen by Tylova explore opportunities how to innovatively reach the relationship between the concepts of images and readings, seeing and thinking. Barbora Tylova found one of the possible answers in the late work of Bohumila Grögerova (born 1921), a doyenne of Czech visual poetry who returned to traditional writing in old age after the loss of eyesight. Tylova’s basis for the interpretation of Groegerova’s texts was the life story of the poet who “writes in the dark” and refuses to give up to create art. She selected sentences and words from the book Rukopis (2008) in which she followed the relationship between reduction of language and imagery associations leading to the amplification of a compressed story. She let the words shine into the dark in the form of magic spells. Based on this topic she created a data-edited file of text-photograms where the main components are light and time. Temporarily she called them “poems written with light”.

Aside from the photograms there are also black and white photographs displayed from the poet’s visits. Part of the entire project was an elaborated interview, which Barbora Tylova conducted with Bohumila Grögerova, based on which a book publication is being prepared. The exhibition serves as a dual representation; it honors an aging artist who defends her freedom and sense for art under conditions that might be invincible to others while defending the communication with words in and of itself by which we are capable of mutual sharing. The project touches on the significant role of experimentation in poetry as well as images, but also points to the inferable existence of room for further free artistic development as well as the possibilities of return. In the interview Bohumila Groegerova claims, "I would never wish upon future generations to stop reading, stop writing poetry, writing at all, or to draw. If all of this ended we would stop being human".

Petr Vanous / curator 

Exhibition opening: 30 May, 6pm