It should also reopen unanswered questions about this curious episode in the history of literary modernism: why concretism happened when and where it did, and what its formal aims and accomplishments were.
Despite this pedigree, concretism is sometimes accused of a naive Rousseauianism that seeks to repair the rift between words and things, writing and speaking, writing and acting.
Take, for example, a seminal classic by the poet generally thought of as the father of concretism, Eugen Gomringer:
Flint explores the promises and limits of mereological versions of concretism
(dealing with the relations between wholes and parts) and, like the other authors represented in this volume, proposes a modest thesis: Flint's aims are "explicating the problems associated with mereological models, suggesting senses in which those models should (and shouldn't) be embraced, examining what alternatives to mereological models might be available to the concretist, and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of those alternatives.
The Review's Anthology of Concretism
(CR 19:4, 1967) was the first anthology of visual poetry to be published in this country.
An independent foldout included with the current catalogue, which has no counterpart in the historical document, meanwhile, resurrects the earlier movement of Concretism
as a central point of reference.
Her work references concretism
in its formalism; it also reflects systemic writing in its choice of subject and is squarely in "the new simplicity.
They emerge as artists devoted to what I would call a concretism
of the absurd, exemplified in the sheer mania that structures works such as The Objects for Glenstone as well as the ceramic and rubber sculptures, Views of Airports, and Visible World, all of which pursue the implausible prospect of rendering a material (read: nonvirtual), parallel model of the world piece by piece, yet without an explicit game plan.
That was the motivation behind the Concretism
issue, and forays into guerilla theater: to shatter the separation between art and life.
Alain Arias-Misson, a contributor and advisor to the Concretism
issue in 1967 (see the note on John Furnival's work in this issue) and the author of a "superfiction" in the Autumn 1971 issue (see that piece and the note on it in this issue too), wrote a brief introduction in which he distinguished the new poesia visiva from concrete poetry:
s of Concretism
, Neo-concretisrn, and art informel alike.
At the same time, they turn back on themselves in a neo-Baroque rather than a modernist fashion: stating their own surface and support by means of a faux-ceramic illusionism, a kaleidoscopic disunity as opposed to the unity of the picture plane, an elaborate ornamentalism versus the anti-ornament stance so dear to both Northern modernism and Brazilian Concretism
, not to mention a materiality shared by painting and pottery, rather than specific to one or the other.
Oiticica, for example, combined the Modernist aesthetics of Concretism
and popular forms of artistic expression in a series of works known collectively as "Parangoles," on which he embarked in 1964 - brightly colored, multilayered capes, tents, or banners that were carried by dancers and on which he would inscribe political messages.