The Weight of the Tongue

Katalin Ladik, Tomaso Binga, CAConrad, Susan Howe and David Grubbs, Nat Marcus, Bryana Fritz, Hanne Lippard, Patrizia Vicinelli

08/12/2023 - 02/03/2024

The Weight of the Tongue is a sound program that is presented in the framework of The Weight of the Concrete by Ezio Gribaudo. It explores the vocalization of experimental and concrete poetry. The program gathers the voices of Katalin Ladik, Tomaso Binga, CAConrad, Susan Howe and David Grubbs, Nat Marcus, Bryana Fritz, Hanne Lippard, and Patrizia Vicinelli. Their contributions will be accessible throughout the exhibition. 

The program serves as a speculative prelude to an upcoming publication The Weight of the Concrete (2024), which reflects the editorial premise of  Il Peso del Concreto (1968), that featured Gribaudo’s early graphic work alongside an anthology of concrete poetry edited by the poet Adriano Spatola. The 2024 publication revisits and reimagines this publication and the archive of its making, pairing Gribaudo’s graphic work with a new selection of historic and contemporary concrete and experimental poetry. 

Katalin Ladik, Nat Marcus and Bryana Fritz will perform their contributions at the opening of The Weight of the Concrete on December 7, 2023, at 19:00.

Susan Howe and David Grubbs, Six Pages from Concordance, 2022. 01:00:00

Katalin Ladik, Lullaby, 1977, recorded in 2016. 02:11
Katalin Ladik, Psalm, 1977, recorded in 2016. 01:08
Katalin Ladik, Song for oiled stove tube and female voice, 1977, recorded in 2016. 01:29

CAConrad, LLTGBR 1, 2023. 00:33
CAConrad, LLTGBR 2, 2023. 00:37

Bryana Fritz, Lingua Ignota, 2023. 6:32

Tomaso Binga, SognOgnor, 1999. 3:25

Nat Marcus, Let Me Roll It, 2023. 4:37

Patrizia Vicinelli, Poesia fonetica da Fondamenti dell’essere, 1985-87, recorded at Radio Città del Capo, Bologna, 1988. 01:12

Hanne Lippard, Work, 2020. 01:10

Susan Howe (b. 1937, United States) and David Grubbs (b. 1967, United States) have been collaborating since 2003. From their latest album collaboration, Concordance (Blue Chopsticks, 2021), they created a 60-minute sound installation titled Six Pages from Concordance. This installation was featured at the 2022 group exhibition Drum Listens to Heart, curated by Anthony Huberman, at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco.

Susan Howe is an American artist, poet, and writer. Howe’s poetry evolved from her painting and drawing career. Closely associated with the late 1970s and 1980s Language Poets’ movement, Susan Howe’s poetry and scholarship are most accurately characterized as language-based and experimental. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Concordance (Paperback, 2020), Debths (New Directions, 2017), That This (New Directions, 2010) among many others. She is also the author of The Gorgeous Nothings ―Emily Dickinson (New Directions, 2013) and books of criticism such as The Birth-Mark: Unsettling the Wilderness in American Literary History (1993) and My Emily Dickinson (New Directions, 1985).

David Grubbs is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe, visual artists Anthony McCall and Angela Bulloch, and choreographer Jonah Bokaer. His work has been presented at, among other venues, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Old- ham, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Loren Connors, and many others. He is a grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a contributing editor in music for BOMB Magazine, a member of the Blank Forms board of directors, and director of the Blue Chopsticks record label.

Katalin Ladik (b. 1942, Serbia) lives and works in Budapest. From her background in poetry and theater in the early 1960s to the present day, Ladik has employed multiple formats in her work such as performance, sound art, collage, drawing mail art and photography, while also often drawing on the multicultural and multi-ethnic environments of her native Eastern Europe. Yet throughout this broad range of artistic expression, Ladik’s work is at all times grounded in poetry, whether poetry as text, or poetry in a more expanded sense, such as concrete and visual poetry, musical poetry and poetic performance. Her most recent exhibition, Ooooooooo-pus, is a retrospective collaboratively organized by Haus der Kunst in Munich (2023), Ludwig Forum in Aachen (2023), and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2024).

CAConrad (b. 1966, United States) has worked with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. Their latest book is Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return (Wave Books / UK Penguin 2024). They received the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, a PEN Josephine Miles Award, a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, and a Lambda Award. They exhibit poems as art objects with recent solo shows in Spain and Portugal, and their play The Obituary Show was made into a film in 2022 by the artist Augusto Cascales.

Bryana Fritz (b. 1989, United States) is a choreographer, dancer, and writer. She works at the intersection between poetry and performance often in duet with the user interface of OS X. Her work is fed by a continued interest in medieval literature, fanfiction, media studies, and histories of illiteracy. She also collaborates with Henry Andersen under the moniker Slow Reading Club. As a performer, Fritz worked with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Xavier le Roy, Boris Charmatz, Michiel Vandevelde, and Femke Gyselinck.

Tomaso Binga (b. 1931, Italy) has been a vital figure in Rome’s avant-garde art community since 1970. Tomaso Binga—a pseudonym chosen to critique gender-based cultural privileges—has been developing her work across performance, collage, video art, sonic poetry, and painting. Her work distinctively merges various elements – from writing to gestures and images – often exploring the boundaries of meaning. She has participated in exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, São Paulo Biennial, Festival International d’Art Vivant in Lyon, Quadriennale of Rome, and the J. Klemm Foundation in Buenos Aires. In 2024, she will have a solo exhibition at the Museo Madre, Naples. Recently, she has also participated in exhibitions at La Galerie Centre d’Art Contemporain, Noisy le Sec (2023); Mimosa House, London (2019); La Galleria Nazionale, Rome (2017); Accademia d’Ungheria e Casa delle Letterature, Rome; Sala Santa Rita, Rome (2014); Museo Madre, Naples (2013); and Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2013).

Nat Marcus (b. 1993, United States) is a poet, designer, DJ, and co-editor of TABLOID Press, a publishing house and media imprint founded in Berlin in 2014. Her poetry, art criticism, and lyric journalism have recently appeared in Arts of the Working Class, The Ransom Note, and Edit. Marcus has participated in poetry readings and performances in venues such as KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Haus am Waldsee (Berlin), and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen). In the last years, she has also exhibited at SYSTEMA (Marseille), Kunstverein München (Munich), Mint (Stockholm), and Felix Gaudlitz (Vienna). She holds a residency at the Berlin-based radio station Refuge Worldwide, and as a vocalist has collaborated with Ulla Straus, exael, Perila, and Soho Rezanejad. Aside from the collections of silkscreened clothing Marcus designs and releases under the TABLOID imprint, she has produced graphics for numerous record labels and collectives including Uzuri, West Mineral Ltd., 3XL, Ediciones Capablanca, and Morph.

Patrizia Vicinelli (1943-1991, Italy) played a pivotal role in Italy’s artistic and political activism scenes. As an influential figure in the underground movement, she was an active member of Gruppo 63, a neo-avant-garde literary group. Her engagement with artists and poets such as Emilio Villa, Adriano Spatola, and Aldo Braibanti was a testament to her influential connections. Additionally, Vicinelli’s interactions with figures in the Italian experimental cinema of the 1970s, such as Alberto Grifi and Gianni Castagnoli, underscored her diverse and impactful contributions to the Italian cultural sphere.

Hanne Lippard (b. 1984, United Kingdom) primarily explores the voice as an artistic medium. Her training in graphic design underscores her interest in the visual and social forces of language. More than merely informative, her texts are visual, rhythmic, and performative. Within the lineage of the great figures of feminism, her work interrogates the emancipation and social alienation of the word in our hyper-connected age. She has received the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2024, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (upcoming 2024). Her most recent performances and exhibitions include The Myths and Realities of Achieving Financial Independence, CCA Berlin – Center for Contemporary Arts, Berlin (2022); Le langage est une peau, FRAC Lorraine, Metz (2021); Contact, Mood, Share at MHKA, Antwerp (2021); RIBOCA2, Riga (2020); ART 4 ALL, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2020); and Our present, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen (2020), amongst others.

01Ezio Gribaudo, Il Peso del Concreto, Edizioni d’Arte Fratelli Pozzo, 1968.



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