Fission of Form was probably the coolest group show I've ever been a part of. It was a collaborative exhibit organized by Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors, Pittsburgh Poets, and Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators. How did it work? 20 sculptors came in first, each creating an original sculpture. Then, 20 poets wrote their art, inspired by the sculpture they were given. After, 20 illustrators were each assigned a piece of poetry to illustrate. As a result, 20 sets of sculpture-poem-picture were shown. I did not see the sculpture before the show opening date.
The poem I illustrated was written by Mike Schneider and inspired by the Sean MacMillan's sculpture shown here, "Untitled Table Piece".
Untitled Copper and Steel
by Mike Schneider
Heavy metal creature hunkered in the corner
like a fighter as the cutman works to stanch the blood
and the bell rings — you coulda been more than
a contender, anything you wanted. What have you
become? — bug eyes feverishly bulged. You are both ends
of a bent stovepipe. Behold the androgynous garage band
desperado. What a piece of work is Stan I'd say if your name
were Stan, depraved as Kowalski, yelping for your Stella — gone,
gone, gone. You are cold coffee and leftovers. Raskolnikov,
talking to yourself rudely, wanted as criminal in every state
of anxiety. Scared and scaly, blasted in blue torch
flares of spark, you became violently yourself. Tiger,
tiger, you've been burned, spat on, learned to beware of rescuers,
strike first and run. Cruel as a shrapnel burst
you cry out in shameless joy, as if you are two penises
on one body, as if you are from a far galaxy of fire
and water, cloud forest volcanoes, fighting men
away at war, graveyards sprouting headstones like teeth.
And your spread eagled invitation says Nothing
is surplus, come out and play, conceive, bring
forth, fuck with your mind. You are virgin birth,
the moment of crowning. What fist-like thing
curdled with mother blood surges from your flanged
opening? — to life, l'chaim, say it and see what happens.
Steel and Copper copyright © Yelena Lamm