New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

New Year’s Day 2022: Be Like Water!

Wishing you a smooth, loving & healthy flow in 2022 despite the complexities we are all going through these days. 

     So, onward into the new year & on January 1st, I performed a new Karstic Action: Be Like Water (video below) for the Poetry Project’s 48th Annual New Year’s day Marathon. My three minute performance was live streamed at around 7:30PM EST. The piece is dedicated to artist Betsy Damon.  Back in October I was privileged to perform a sound scape I created for her performance Listen, Respect, Revere presented at La Mama Gallery during her solo show PASSAGES: RITES AND RITUALS curated by Monika Fabijanska. Betsy’s radical performance practice from the 70s & her relentless worldwide eco-activism inspires, energizes, & prompts action. Hence the Karstic-Action Be Like Water, a performance precipitated by the proximity of great water in my close environment. I have lived on the shore of Shatemuc since 2007 (in Bayridge, Brooklyn) & before that on the shores of Mahicanituck (Albany, NY 1992-2007). Different names for the same river, whether it is the Mohican’s name upstream or the Lenape’s name downstream, the meaning remains the same: “the river that flows two ways,” — thus not just a river, but a tidal estuary, an arm of the sea where salty seawater meets fresh water running off the land. Today we call her Hudson River, after the English navigator Henry Hudson who in 1609 sailed the “Halve Maen (Half Moon),” a Dutch East India Company three-masted flyboat, upstream to Pem-po-tu-wuth-ut or Sche-negh-ta-da, today Albany, NY

     These waters, these lands had long been navigated & populated by native peoples— for at least 10 000 years. But what is left of the 9500 years of these rich & complex layers of life, history, culture? Karstic-Action Be Like Water was broadcast from my studio in Bay Ridge — in the southwest of Brooklyn, located on a terminal moraine created by receding glaciers around 13,000 years ago along the Verrazano Narrows. This land belonged to the Lenape people & there is local evidence of their dwelling here since 4500 BC. The Lenape belong to the Algonquin civilization & spoke Munsee. Given their predominantly oral culture, early written documents are rarely accurate as they come to us from the first colonizers who knew neither their culture nor their language. Like the other Natives, the Lenape have been dispossessed, displaced, practically exterminated. The colonizers also usurped & changed the names of rivers, valleys & mountains which in their languages had held important geographical & linguistic information. From the beginning on the European infiltration started to obliterate the ecological equilibrium of their sustainable land- & water-based environment. Before Henry Hudson, the Florentine Giovanni de Verrazano visited the narrows in 1524, sent by the French king, François 1er. A Brooklyn Eagle article from 1911 reports that graves have been found on the Bliss Estate, or what’s now called Owl’s Head Park. “This is known as Indian Mound, for here Indian relics and bones have been found.” This mound —part of the moraine mentioned above, is my neighborhood park & I visit it almost everyday when I am in Bay Ridge. 

     Karstic Action: Be Like Water is the distillate of the geological, historical, environmental information I acquired over the years, succussed into a 3-minute performance. This work is in the lineage of the KARSTIC-Actions Paintings open-ended series of live performances I started in 2011. They explore proprioception (sense of body position) & kinesthesia (sense of body movement), as meeting points between painting, poetry, voice, music, ecology, geology, history. “Karstic” refers to the geological phenomena of dissolution & transformation at work in the formation of superficial or underground limestone topographies. By a similar principle of infiltration, language transforms into poem, breath into song and colored chalk become pastel into marks on paper or canvas. Always “in/quest of” equilibrium through an ecological consciousness in the literal meaning of that term: greek οἶκος / oîkos/ house, household, dwelling & λόγος / lógos/ discourse, thus science of dwelling. 

     The sound track was pre-recorded (recording & mixing courtesy of Miles Joris-Peyrafitte) to allow me to focus on the physical performance aspect. The text is an assemblage of the “Mahicanituck” song written for the performance “The Bi-Continental Chowder” in the early 2000s & of a second part written over the past week. The background of the live painting is a sheet of paper used as a floor covering & saved from a 2015 action painting. The pigments were a mixture of chewed charcoals burned in the fireplace of our house in my native Pyrenees, pure calcium carbonate (calcite), Ercolano red,  terre verte Brentonico, Chefchaouen blue, French clay,   bauxite de Tourves, sand from the Narrows; all mixed with water & applied with the feet while in headstand (Salamba Sirsasana II). 

 

 
 
Sound file:

 

Text:

Be Like Water
for Betsy Damon on New Year’s day 2022

Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
from lake Tear of the Clouds
she flows & grows
& grows & flows
to meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Verrazano Narrows
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
they call you Hudson today
we cannot drink your water anymore
we cannot eat your fish or oysters anymore
we cannot swim from your shores anymore
but Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
I feel your flow
I feel your flow
I hope less
feel flow
hope less
feel flow
feel flow
my hydrological cycle
primeval waters
primordial oysters
salty waters
fresh waters
with the bonobos following the Congo trail
waking wading dwelling from canopy to water 
defying that water was “ubered” by an asteroid or comet
but steamed out 4.3 billions years ago
hope is not a strategy
hope is a belief
water was already here
immanent not transcendent
the crucible of non-living & living worlds
feel flow
feel flow
feed flow
feed flow
On the menu du jour: life’s origin
serving primordial soup
on original sea bed
paired with
water to restore the
intimate relationship with life
feel flow
feel flow
Mahicanituck, Shatemuc
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
we grow & flow
& flow & grow

Travaux/Actions Karstique 2021 at Galerie Simoncini

Travaux/Actions Karstique 2021 at Galerie Simoncini

KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS: DOCUMENTATION

From June 4th — July 15, 2021 Galerie Simoncini —Luxembourg, presented the second extensive installment of Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris’ Domopoetics creations. The couple, who has shared life for three decades, moved in with their most recent KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS —paintings, texts, videos — & occupied the three levels of the gallery.
— On the ground floor, the Karstic Refuge where their domestic & political processes interconnect & transform.  
— In the basement, the Sanctuary, neither holy nor secret, but table/altar for their intimate domopoetic works.
— On the second floor, the Canopy, where the diversity & resilience of multi-species relations can be experienced.
For the opening & the finissage live Karstic-Action performances were presented. Below are the two videos:

OPENING:  Friday, June 4th at 6:00PM with an improvisation of Pascal Delalée on violin

 

FINISSAGE:  July 15 2021 with Colin Toniello on keyboard

VIDEOS on displayed at the gallery:
ResistPersistAssist -2020: https://vimeo.com/477008625
Nicole Peyrafitte -VOTE!-2020: https://vimeo.com/473998922
Pierre Joris -VOTE Manifesto-2020: https://youtu.be/o2cL2mj7bu8
Dé-Suffire/De-Suffice -2020: https://vimeo.com/443524314
Manifesto -2020: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/492536015 
Altars of Light -2006: https://vimeo.com/43001870
KINGSTON Karstic-Action 2020: https://vimeo.com/389405431

PRESS RELEASES:
English
French

POSTER:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INVITATION:

KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS Luxembourg & More!

KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS Luxembourg & More!

Hello everyone!
After a year & more sheltering at home in Brooklyn we are happy to head out to Europe, fully vaxxed, to pick up on gigs delayed by the pandemic. Four events are central, all taking place in Luxembourg:
1) our most recent KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS at Galerie Simoncini;
2) Pierre Receiving the Batty Weber Award;
3) the CNL celebrating his 75th birthday on 14 July (details to be announced)
4) the “finissage” of the KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS show on 15 July.
Voilà! Details below & looking forward to reconnect other that virtually.

1). Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris
ACTIONS/TRAVAUX KARSTIQUES
June 4th — July 15, 2021
Opening with a Performance Action on Friday, June 4th at 6:00PM

This exhibition/performance of paintings, texts, videos will occupy the gallery’s three levels:
—Sanctuaire/Sanctuary: basement
—Abri/Shelter: street level
—Canopy/Canopée : upper floor
Galerie Simoncini 6, Rue Notre Dame, Luxembourg.
For more details on this see:
Communiqué de Presse
Press Release

2) Just before the KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS, exhibition/performance, a long-delayed (because of covid) event will take place on 1 June: Pierre will receive the Batty Weber Prize  (Luxembourg’s life-time achievement award in literature). The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. at the CNL (Centre National de Littérature) in Mersch in the presence of Minister of Culture, Sam Tanson & the director of the CNL, Nathalie Jacoby. A laudatio will be read by Jean Portante, celebratory poems sung by Nicole Peyrafitte accompanied by Pascal Delalée on violin, & Pierre will read the essay he wrote for the occasion & which will be available as a pamphlet from the CNL (Various Variable Words Variably Arranged in the Form of a Celebratory Talk-Essay on Language & Luxembourg).

3) We’ll be back in Mersch on July 14 as the CNL has proposed to celebrate Pierre’s 75th birthday by creating an event that will include poetry readings & performances by Nicole & some others of our friends, a public interview of PJ by Florent Toniello for a future book, and more. Details to be announced.

4) Finally on 15 July, the finissage will happen at the galerie Simoncini, possibly with a final performance as we take down the paintings, pack the videos & get ready to return to Brooklyn.

Other news:
Nicole’s
“Karstic-Action Je me dé-suffit/ Dé-suffice“: Official Selection of the 9th International Video Poetry Festival. The premiere of the festival will be on Sunday June 6th & will accessible to everyone in the entire world in the Video Art Zone 2021 section.
—Things Fall Where They Lie /Les Choses Tombent où Elles Reposent:
is now available on VOD to rent/buy
English subtitles  /  Sous-titres Français
—The Museum of the Women Library in Glasgow acquired the painting Nicole made during our performance at the CCA on 5th October 2016 as part of the Outside-In / Inside-Out poetry festival and symposium held in Glasgow and  here it is 
—Karstic Actions featured  in Periodico de Poesia UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

Pierre’s
upcoming online events include:
— Workshop “Celan übersetzen” (FU Berlin, Literarisches Kolloquium Berlin), 14.-15. Juni 2021. This will be a zoom occasion. DTBA
— A Claude Pélieu Symposium in Paris to be held at the University of Chicago Center Paris, On 8/9 July. Still uncertain if this will be live or zoom. DTBA. 
— Pierre’s two 2020 Celan booksPaul Celan: Microliths (Posthumous prose) (CMP) & Paul Celan: Memory Rose into Threshold Speech —  Collected Earlier Poetry (FSG) have garnered quite some reviews. Here are links to some of these:

Have a wonderful summer everyone stay strong & healthy!
 

Pierre & Nicole

Invitation:

Poster:

We Sure Are 2021 Ready!

We Sure Are 2021 Ready!
Video
 
Indeed, all of us are ready for a healthy 2021. Truly hoping you have all made it through 2020 ok. We can’t complain, as we stayed healthy & productive throughout. Like for many of us, travelling gigs were cancelled though most only postponed or “zoomed”. Below, what’s coming up in the new year & some of our 2020 highlights. May justice, peace & health be on everyone’s schedule. If you are in NYC, remember that we will have to vote again & it is an important mayoral election. There is numerous candidates officially launching their campaigns — the Democratic primary is this 22 June & the general election 2 November. It is an important one since the NYC police department still needs to see serious deep changes. Profound & structural reforms are essential to address systemic racism, brutality & basic injustice. The word “Defunding” may scare  liberals but there are real problems (financial, cultural, etc.) Just look at the NYPD budget & its opacity. As an exemple:
—  Portugal’s total defense expenditure for 10.28 million people: $ 2.53 billion in 2020.
— NYC’s Police Department: for 8.3 million people, $11 billion from the City’s budget are allocated to NYPD’s operating budget.
Voting locally is super important and please join us in keeping the pressure on!
1 billion may have been “reallocated,”  but 80% of NYPD’s members belong to a Union that officially endorsed the despicable & democratically ousted Trump.
    As Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative says: 
“We cannot build our safety on punishment.”
   Meanwhile, keep in touch, stay healthy & together we can Resist, Persist & Assist.
   Bon anada, e schéint neit Joer!                               
   
   Nicole & Pierre

 
A CRÊPE-COOK-ALONG chez Nicole & Pierre
JANUARY 1st, 2021 8 AM EST
 


If you missed our Crêpe-Cook-Along video on January 1st for the legendary Poetry Project’s 2021 New Year’s Day Marathon, which this year was a 24-hour continuous online broadcast featuring readings and performances from a global cast of more than 200 poets, writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and theatre-makers – devotees of the avant-garde and demimonde, proud visionaries and iconoclasts working at the edge across language, time, and place you can see it here & please don’t forget to contribute here
And if you’re really serious about cooking along with the video, download the list of necessary ingredients here.
 

 
DOMOPOETIC KARSTIC-ACTION EXHIBITION
June 4 – July 7th 2021

Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris’s new domopoetic works are based on three word-concepts:
Les nouveaux travaux domopoétiques de Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris  s’appuient sur trois mots-concepts
RESIST    PERSIST    ASSIST
Actions paintings/Videos /Textes

Galerie Simoncini — 6, rue Notre Dame L-2240 Luxembourg 
 


Pierre’s 2020 

Books:
Fox-trails, -tales, & -trots: Poems & Proses (Black Fountain Press, Luxembourg)

Concluding 53 years of translating Paul Celan’s literary oeuvre:
Paul Celan: Microliths (Posthumous prose) (CMP )
Paul Celan: Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected earlier Poetry (FSG)

Agadir by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, translated with Jake Syersak, Dialogos Press, 2020.

Readings & Interviews:
LitBalm Reading November 2020
Celebrating Paul Celan: An Evening with Pierre Joris and Paul Auster Nov 2020
Writer’s Against Trump   August 2020
Woxxx Interview with Isabel Spigarelli September 2020

Pierre received the 2020 Prix Batty Weber, the Luxembourg national literary prize that is awarded every three years since 1987 to a Luxembourgish writer for the entirety of his work. Interview by Florent Toniello in Woxxx. His Fox-trails, -tales, & -trots: Poems & Proses was shortlisted for the Luxembourg National Book Awards.

The British daily, The Morning Star, named Microliths one of its two literary “Books of the Year.”

 

Nicole’s 2020 

Karstic-Actions:
Resist-Persist-Assist w/ Pierre Joris — Nov 2020
Vote! : August 2020
Je me dé-suffis / I de-suffice myself  — July 2020
Salon Zürcher – March 2020
Kingston 2020 w/ Pierre Joris, Michael Bisio, Patrick Higgins — Jan 2020

Other Videos:
Pierre Joris’ reading for Paul Celan’s 100th Birthday — Nov 2020
Robert Kelly : A Celebration w/ Pierre Joris —August 2020
Pierre Joris: Beach reading — July 2020
Voilà! Cooking while Confined — March-April 2020 — 24 live cooking videos w/ Nicole & Pierre

Readings:
LitBalm Reading 

Publications:
The A-LINE Journal
Le chant de la Sirène Journal :
Time of the Poet Republic
Voice of the Trees

Featured in TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC

Featured in TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC

Thank you! Poet Curator Mbizo CHIRASHA for featuring my work in such details on the  TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC.

“Time of the Legend with Acclaimed Performance Poet Nicole Peyrafitte.

“Performance Poet Nicole Peyrafitte your dub verse is mind raving and lyrical gymnastics scintillates lowspirited readers to resurrect themselves to activity. Your poetry heaves with heart throbbing rhythm, that of a dense canopy of papaya tree dancing on the passing wind and as well dangling with ripe yellow ready to be give us Vitamin C. Your art is mature and provokes  the world to rise  and see dots of darkness in the sun  as such to realize patches of  dirty  on the  undergarments  of the moon .Your philosophy concocted imagery raves and cracks our mental boxes, like how stray tendrils of marijuana smoke spirals into the nostrils of a saint, a nonsmoker and wrecks his brains to speak to himself or herself. Mind boggling. Thus, the power of your voice is extraordinary”….more

1 2 3