Poetry News

Leslie Scalapino Plays to Be Performed at PICA Time-Based Art Festival

By Harriet Staff

Worlds collide: Songwriter, composer, and professor Sarah Dougher is in the lineup at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Time-Based Art Festival this fall, and she'll be presenting Fin de Siècle, her musical interpretation of a set of three experimental poem-plays by renowned poet Leslie Scalapino (whose plays are collected in the 2008 volume, It’s go in horizontal). The PICA TBA Festival, now in its ninth year, is a highly curated, annual affair that brings artists from across the country, and globe, "for a convergence of contemporary performance and visual art." And Dougher has performed for over twenty years, receiving commissions from the Classical Greek Theater of Oregon, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Multnomah County Library, and the Cooley Gallery at Reed College.

As PICA writes in their event description:

The poems form an abstract narrative of war, labor, and class struggle—a visionary manifestation of the poet’s passionate humanism. Structured as a set of emotive, melodic songs, Dougher’s piece weds video projection and vocal performance with an ensemble of piano, violin, cello, trumpet, trombone and percussion. The work embraces Scalapino’s challenging use of language through a richly textured score, and echoes Scalapino’s hybrid practice, inhabiting a musical space between art song and pop. Fin de Siècle is an ambitious synthesis of Dougher’s celebrated folk-rock solo music and choral compositions.

PICA has also posted selected videos from Dougher performances at their Resource Room, and we're including one performance below.

The festival will be presented September 8-18, 2011, in Portland, Oregon. Events really do the time--onscreen, onstage, and outside--with "morning workshops, daytime installations, noontime lectures, afternoon salons, evening performances, outdoor happenings, and no shortage of late-night activity." Other artists lined up include the one-man experience that is Mike Daisey, Austin's Rude Mechs (you've got to see The Method Gun), Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Claire Fontaine, Andrew Dinwiddie, and more. All your info be here.

Caesar's Gate, Part 5 from Chuck Barnes on Vimeo.

Originally Published: June 13th, 2011