Public Poems

Public Poems is a work-in-progress that arises from a voyeuristic fascination for everyday conversation. Armed with pen and paper, we look for public places, i.g. squares, parks, libraries, public transport and services in order to record and inventorise (in handwriting) the everyday conversations of the place. In this way, we attempt to map a place alternatively. Public Poems seeks the tension between private and public on the one hand and between technology and privacy on the other. We try to capture what escapes the constant control by for example surveillance cameras or data registration. The holes and gaps in the registration and interpretation of data are emphasized: our hands write too slowly as the camera films from a certain angle, and the computer reduces information to a binary code. The collected texts take on a fragmentary form that resembles how we ingest information nowadays.

Public Poems are ‘found’ poetry with the ability to see poetic beauty in the everyday conversation, where the speaker did not recognize it. Comparable with a readymade in the visual arts and inspired a.o. by Dadaist poetry we bring the spontaneous and wonderful of the everyday to the surface. Our poems are the results of a (personal) selection from reality, after which we want to return the spoken word to the ‘public’ who are essentially the (co)authors.



Text & creation: Liesbet Grupping en Ine Van Baelen
Image: Liesbet Grupping en Stijn Grupping
Production: Post uit Hessdalen
Composition & live music: Naomi Beeldens, Hannes d’Hoine en Milan Warmoeskerken

With the support of the City of Antwerp