Here is the recording!
On Wednesday, May 31, 2023 1 p.m: A Flock of Poets reading Avian works: A Rail Reading curated by Nicole Peyrafitte
Featuring Peyrafitte, Pierre Joris, Marcella Durand, Latasha Diggs, and E.J. McAdams.
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).
Be Like Water
for Betsy Damon on New Year’s day 2022
from lake Tear of the Clouds
she flows & grows
& grows & flows
to meet the Atlantic Ocean at the Verrazano Narrows
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
my hydrological cycle
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
On the menu du jour: life’s origin
serving primordial soup
on original sea bed
water to restore the
intimate relationship with life
great water constantly in motion
great water that flows two ways
we grow & flow
& flow & grow
Recap of works recently published.
Immense gratitude to all the publishers
Care Persist Resist!
FAIM! French Online Poetry Festival
Indefatigable performer/ curator Pauline Cathrinot curated & mc’d a great Online Festival!
“Impérieuse. Elle grossit, gronde, épaissit. Une extraordinaire FAIM, faimgalle, fringale. Elle se lève, nous dresse. Oui, on a FAIM! de corps proférants, de cous tendus en dynamiques de cordes, de larynx émus et d’amygdales vibrantes, de ce qui lève monte s’accroît quand la chair est parole, et qu’elle se jette sur nous. Qu’on l’attrape, la saisit la gobe. De langue à langue, et par dévorations.” … more from Pauline here
“Chant de la Sirène began as a weblog in 2007 by Laura Hinton, on the topic of the hybrid literary arts. First focusing on the radical New York poetry & multi-media arts scene through which Hinton had been floating adrift, the original blog came to offer a wider array of poetry book reviews, artist-poet interviews, poet tributes, conference travelogues, memoirs, and guest essays… (more here)
5 Pages & a text from my Daily Carnets in here
The A-Line Journal
By Editorial Staff on July 1, 2020
“The announcement of this issue was circulated some months ago, but these past weeks have reassured the editors of the necessity of an enterprise seeking to draw together the best of contemporary progressive thought in order to provide the intellectual and emotional sustenance we need to survive this enormous contraction, and continue the work of overhauling our society. Although the A-Line was founded two years ago as a response to felt crisis, I believe we’d all agree that our current political order—home and beyond—has reached a not-to-be-doubted inflection point beyond which we can neither see, nor even guess. “Apocalypse Now and Then”—in its varied figurative and referential valence—lends its name to this timely issue that includes essays, poems, and images taking up the many dimensions of this national and global emergency— from the COVID-19 pandemic, to climate change, economic disaster, as well as the spectacle of violence and lawlessness at the highest levels of governance that currently defines US society. (more here)
Nicole : A text & 3 paintings in the The A-Line Journal
Friday April 24th was the finale our Live Cooking Videos—while confined.
First and foremost THANK YOU to all the viewers, & a very special thank you to all the regulars from literally all around the globe. During these 24 daily livecast rendez-vous, you provided sustained warm & joyful support which gave me a some sense of purpose in these trying times while we are all confined, waiting for the virus to pass.
By now, sadly most of us know someone who has succumbed to the coronavirus, and we are also all watching — or no longer watching in order to stay sane — the ineffective & disgusting political debacle. Even if most of us are safely at home, and in a somehow privileged situation — I sure feel mine is that — we still all go through the emotional roller coaster, so if the show helped make your ride smoother, I am super happy. You need to know that it sure eased mine tremendously, so gratitude to you all for watching & cheering! I really know that I also learned a lot from the whole process.
Do not hesitate to reach out via messenger at any point if you have cooking questions of just want to keep in touch; I would love that!
Meanwhile, stay healthy, take great great care & eat the best you can.
Much much love from the two of us.
P.S: The videos of all 24 videos from the last to the first below & they all have notes & links with useful information. Below the videos more cooking background info.
What do we eat/cook & why?
A few years back for serious health reasons we switched to healthier, low glycemic foods & adopted the 16/8 intermittent fasting method that involves eating only during an 8-hour window & fasting for the remaining 16 hours. So we eat a variety of foods but avoid pasta, rice, potatoes, sugar, processed flour & we favor veggies, legumes, eggs, healthy whole grains, & responsibly raised meat, poultry, & seafood, some fruits…Well, you get the idea & you will discover the details in the videos below. We will keep adding them as we go. Never hesitate to ask questions or request foods recipes you would like to see demonstrated or talked about.
Voilà! Bon Appétit, stay home & healthy!
“Voilà Lunchtime” were daily live-casted on FB & IG from March 24 -April 24 2020 M-F 12:00 EST
A little background:
Once upon a time I was a cook! I never liked the term chef, though I did run kitchens & was called one! I never really missed the restaurant business, but never stopped cooking. In the early years of this blog I posted more recipes & articles on food, I taught cooking & went as far as taping a demo cooking show, and filming several recipes. My aim has always been to empower people in the kitchen, not to impress them. I appreciate sophisticated techniques & truly enjoys highly skilled chefs but I was never into that kind of cooking. My background is in French regional Southwestern food but I have been in the US since 1987 and learned so much about food here. Getting together with Pierre Joris (here producer/dishwasher/husband) in 1989 was crucial for my artistic future but also for my cooking experience: it is through Pierre that I met Diane Rothenberg & Margie Byrd who are my mentors in many ways. Both are great cooks and had open tables for many years. Diane, an anthropologist, tremendously expanded my perspectives on the history of food; Margie taught me many American staples — the best corn bread ever! & then there is my childhood friend Ariane Daguin from d’Artagnan who is an inspiration has been incredibly supportive of my food related performance work. She was an early supporter of La Garbure Transcontinentale/The Bi-Continental Chowder, a performance that included texts, videos, cooking and sharing the result with the audience. Pierre & I went on doing more of these performance & a memorable one was at the Jardin des Cinq Sens et des Formes Premières in Provence; this performance included the making of a Primordial Soup, readings, vidéos, music by Denis Brun and a Karstic-Action Painting. Here are some pix.
But my cooking debut were really early! I was born in Luchon (French Pyrenees) into the 5th generation of a family of hoteliers-restaurateurs (Hotel Poste et Golf) & my very early cooking training started when I was 6 years old with my grand-father chef Joseph Peyrafitte (whose father Louis was also a chef). Later, when I took over the family kitchen, I went to intern at award winning restaurants in France –1982: Restaurant Vanel, Toulouse, 1991: Hotel de France, Auch. Both places had 2 stars at the Michelin Guide — then I got a few awards myself!
Anyway! forwarding to today: like everyone else we are trying to make the best of this imposed confinement & I always find solace in cooking & eating well. So Pierre & I decided to share the prepping of our simple & healthy home cooking live. We are live both on Facebook & Instagram Monday-Friday from 12 to 12:30 —sometimes a bit longer. Sharing & live-casting our cooking is really in line with our Domopoetic* practice.
* Domopoetics is our collaborative attempt to think, feel & make us respons/able to this/our world & it responsive to us. We do this via our private lives & public actions & performances that meander dialogically between Nicole Peyrafitte’s drawings & videos, voice-, textual & cooking work & Pierre Joris’ poems, translations & essayistic thinking.
Pastels on Canvas 52×24 — Fall 2019
Thank you Guillermo Gregorio for the permission to use this beautiful music
Rodchenko : Suite Part Two (1999) Album Faktura (released 2002 by hat Art/Hat Hut Records, Switzerland)
A HAPPY 2020 TO YOU ALL!
Pierre is finishing up several books for 2020 publications and gearing up for many upcoming trips & I locked myself into my studio making new paintings for upcoming exhibitions.
2020 is going to be very busy and we’re already scheduling 2021. See below for details & snapshots from 2019, but first a few dates to save:
NICOLE & PIERRE
Sunday January 19, 2 PM – 8 PM:
Steve Dalachinsky Memorial
11 Cortland Alley, New York
Event details here
Saturday January 25, 7:00PM:
Poetry Reading, The Gallery at Atlas
11 Spring Street, Newburgh, NY 12550
NICOLE & PIERRE
Sunday February 2, 4:00PM:
Trialogues performance with Mike Bisio (bass)
The Lace Mill
500 Frank Sottile Blvd
Kingston NY 12401
Saturday February 8
Torn Page Presents
A Staged Reading of “The Agony of Ingeborg B”
play by Pierre Joris & directed by Vera Beren
435 West 22nd Street/ New York NY 10011
doors 730pm /reading 8pm
Spiritual Exercises: Robert Kelly’s Science of Becoming Aware
Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Room: Humanities 219
Abu-Dhabi, UAI — HAYE FESTIVAL
Thursday 27: 1.p.m.: Conversation with Adonis, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi
Friday 28: 1.p.m.: PJ in conversation with André Velter
8:30- 10 p.m. Celebratory Readings for Adonis
“The 11 Women of Spirit” Salon Zürcher 21st Edition
Opening: March 2, 2020, 6-8 PM
open Tuesday, March 3 to Saturday, March 7, from 12 – 8 PM
Sunday, March 8 from 12 – 7 PM
Closing Party: Sunday March 8, 5 – 7 PM
ZÜRCHER GALLERY, NEW YORK
33 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012
Friday May 1
Celebration reading by & party for Robert Kelly on the occasion of the publication of “A City Full of Voices: Essays on the Work of Robert Kelly” (Contra Mundum Press).
The Poetry Project / St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th Street, New York, NY 10003
Rice University, Houston TX,
Paul Celan Conference — Keynote Speaker
NICOLE & PIERRE
Kings College, University of London
Jerome Rothenberg & Eric Mottram celebration
University of Chicago Center Paris
Keynote at Conference “Courts-circuits et visions disjonctées : œuvre et réseaux de Claude Pélieu/ Short-circuits and Fused Visions: The Works and Networks of Claude Pélieu”.
Celebrating Celan at 100: Witnessing for the Witness.
Conference at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson
November 16, 6 p.m.
Celan at 100: Early Poetry & Posthumous Prose Books
Pierre Joris & Paul Auster
Deutsches Haus, NYU
Given that 2020 will be the 100th birth- & the 50th death-year of Paul Celan, there will no doubt be a number of other events around his life & work in which Pierre will partake. His final two Celan translations are coming out in summer & fall of this year: “Microliths they are, Little Stones” (Posthumous prose) from Contra Mundum Press & “Memory Rose into Threshold Speech: The Collected Earlier Poetry” from Farrar Strauss & Giroux.
& to RUSH even further ahead & then right back to SUM UP the year ending now:
NICOLE & PIERRE
Galerie Simoncini, Luxembourg
Multi-floor Karstic Action exhibition, action-paintings, cooking & readings.
Notes from the Domopoetics studio:
So, some of our intense 2019 activity — such as the October/November visit to the prehistoric caves & overhangs of the Dordogne and, majorly, the 5-day internship at the Gargas caves in the Pyrenees, close to where Nicole was born & raised — was specifically undertaken as r&r (no, not rest & recuperation: reconnaissance & research) for the upcoming Karstic Action show.
Those 2 weeks came after a first stop in Paris (& a 3-day trip to the Frankfurt book fair by Pierre) & continued with a week in our place in Bourg d’Oueil (r&r? no: family visits, & first tentative steps at making clay pots that may or may not become the food vessels for the 2021 actions) followed by 8 days that were supposed to be quiet, meditative (r&r? finally!) days in Venice with a yoga workshop, visits to galleries, churches & the Biennale. Except of course that we arrived as the Acqua Altas equinox tide flooded 90% of the city, the worst in 1/2 century, so that we also spent a fair amount in r&r (recon & research) to find, first rubber boots and then open food stores. Still, an intense time was had, too much to report here, though mention must be made of what was one of our favorites pieces at the Biennale: Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s (recipient of the 2019 Turner Prize) single channel video installation “Walled Unwalled” — for which, as it turned out, son Joseph was the colorist.
We returned to Brooklyn to the happy news that Joseph — as producer, this time — and Cameroon-American film-maker Ellie Foumbi’s feature project “Mon père, le diable” had been selected for funding in the 2019/2020 edition of the Venice Biennale College! Hopefully no one will need rubber boots for the film’s premiere scheduled for the Mostra de Venice end of August 2020!
Miles has been just as busy this year, with his second feature, “Dreamland” — starring (and co-produced by) Margot Robbie — premiering to very good reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. This fall “Gaslight” a mystery story produced by QCODE & written & directed by Miles aired to excellent response. You can check it our here. He has meanwhile also written a new horror-thriller film script — “The Hunter and the Fox” — for Annapurna Pictures & is at one of the many (& somewhat confusing to us) pre-production stages as he will also direct this film.
In resistance and persistence forward into the new decade. Stay strong, keep your spirits up and do keep in touch,
Nicole & Pierre