Readings by Marilyn Nelson, Bei Dao 北岛, Afaa Weaver, Zhai Yongming 翟永明, Pierre Joris, Xi Chuan 西川, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Zhou Zan 周瓒, Charles Bernstein, and Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, followed by remarks from Xu Bing 徐冰, introduced by Lydia Liu 刘禾.
For Xi Chuan reading my translation of “Bloom” 开花, jump to 49:21.
For pictures and more information on the reading, click here. For recordings of the readings, visit PennSound.
Poet on a Business Trip 诗人出差了
Director: Ju Anqi 雎安奇
In the dictionary definition, a business trip is when an employee is sent out to do work-related business. The main character of this film is the poet Shu, who lives in Beijing and has never been on a business trip. Twelve years ago, in the fall of 2002, he decided to send himself on a business trip to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 4000 kilometers away. In this desolate westernmost region of China, he traveled alone by way of all sorts of vehicles, passing through mountain ranges, forests, lake regions, the desert, and national borders. Staying in the cheapest motels and hostels, he sought out prostitute after prostitute. Somewhere in the midst of the physical environment and his physical body, the poet on a business trip wrote sixteen poems, and this film begins with the first one.
Ouyang Jianghe’s 欧阳江河 poem was inspired by a sculptural work of the same title by Xu Bing 徐冰. Xu Bing’s sculpture, actually two sculptures–a male “feng” 鳳 and female “huang” 凰– is comprised almost entirely of objects found on worksites in Beijing … Ouyang’s poem was also a two-year project, extending between 2010 when he saw Xu’s sculpture in New York, and 2012, when the work of 19 stanzas was finally published. At roughly 400 lines, the poem was first published in 2012 by Oxford (Hong Kong), and then re-published by Chinacitic Press this past July. The recording of the poem in the video took place on July 5, at the Central Academy for Fine Arts in Beijing where Chinacitic was promoting Ouyang’s book… Xu Bing was also present at the event.
As Manfredi’s first feature in his Visual Poets series, the reading is preceded by close-ups of Ouyang Jianghe’s calligraphy of poetry by Bei Dao 北島 in different styles. Subtitled translation by Austin Woerner. Available for order from mccm creations.