Poetry News

'Stand Up' with Cathy Park Hong & Mores McWreath at The New Museum

By Harriet Staff


In conjunction with the "Stand Up" symposium on March 30, the New Museum is hosting "The Rub," a collaborative online chapbook by Cathy Park Hong and the video artist Mores McWreath.

“The Rub” is an e-chapbook of GIFs and haiku that explores shame and failure in stand-up and online comedy. Poems explore the viewer’s obsession with witnessing humiliation—whether harmless bloopers, online bullying, or abject sexual humiliation. The GIF, the perfect visual effect here, freezes failure into an infinite loop and captures theorist Sianne Ngai’s concept of a “noncathartic aesthetic: art that produces and foregrounds a failure of emotional release…and does so as a kind of politics.”

We're particularly fascinated with page 3, which is admittedly one of the tamer  text-image juxtapositions, but we recommend spending some time with the entire piece. You can read/view the entire collaboration online.

If you're in New York, you can head over to the New Museum on March 30 from 2-5 pm for the "Stand Up" symposium:

In Part One of “Stand Up,” acclaimed poet Cathy Park Hong will consider how humor can be an energetic mode of critique in relation to race and sexuality. Led by a series of questions—How can laughter be both a form of subversion and of mourning? How does comedic performance meddle with language?—this talk also considers new interactive models generated from contemporary poetry and performance. Her lecture informs Hong’s developing body of work about the abject body and comedy. In Part Two, celebrated poets Ariana Reines, Catherine Wagner, and Ronaldo Wilson will perform and read works in response to Hong’s propositions. Artist Mores McWreath will present a video work.