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Crisp-Ellert to host art and poetry virtual event

Mar 23, 2021

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum at Flagler College will welcome back visual artist Cyriaco Lopes and poet Terri Witek for a participatory virtual event on Thursday, April 8, at 5:30 p.m. This event is a collaboration with the St. Johns County Public Library, in conjunction with National Poetry Month.

The event is free and open to the public, and registration is required: http://bit.ly/38PZajK  

Zoom has become a ubiquitous part of both our personal and professional lives during the course of the pandemic. Through “The Keepers,” Lopes and Witek will utilize Zoom as an investigation of the gap between images and text, as orchestra, as conversation, as interactive performative work. The artists encourage viewers to participate in the creation of both visual and auditory elements in order to generate a unique art experience on this newly popular platform.

We would appreciate the audience’s participation during this event, and therefore we will request all participants turn on their cameras (aka share video) and unmute themselves during certain segments of the performance. While full participation is strongly encouraged, we understand that not everyone might feel comfortable showing their faces and lending us their voices, and there will be ample opportunity to participate in the event through the chat function.

“The Keepers” will be the second time the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum has collaborated with Lopes and Witek, and the fifth time working with Witek and her other collaborators. In 2015 we presented Lopes and Witek’s exhibition Currents/Correntes. In 2016 we hosted visual artist Matt Roberts and Witek for their interactive, multiple site-specific digital project Dream Garden. In 2017, we invited Roberts and Witek back to Flagler College who, alongside Denke Chen, performed Implements for Removing Foreign Bodies.

The work of Cyriaco Lopes and Terri Witek combines images and texts in a lyrical meditation on the passage of time and on the imperfect language of what remains and is transformed. Thus, they bring together fragments of history and cultural landscapes: decontextualized museum cartouches and manuals, sculptures and places. Interested in both the genealogies of experimental visual poetry and those of the visual essay, in their work, mythology, history and archeology weave a delicate plot that refers us to when philosophy was poetry and art was life. From the beginning, their artistic work as a duo values both chance and choice, investigating the different visual poetics of the text-image binomial.

Their various projects range from postcards given to strangers on the street to site-specific installations, artist's books, and participatory performances. Always giving great importance to cultural memory, multilingualism and the trace of a deep past, they also recover materiality as a central element. Understood as a whole woven of everyday vestiges, the work of Cyriaco Lopes Terri Witek suggests that the convergence of different means of expression and disparate bodies gives rise to a third mysterious thing that may resemble the future.

New York-based Brazilian artist Cyriaco Lopes has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP), El Museo del Barrio in NYC, the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles in Paris, Casa Degli Artisti in Milan. He is the winner of the NYC World Studio Foundation Award, the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis Project Award, the São Paulo Phillips Prize of trip to Europe. Lopes has participated in artist residencies at the London Project, Skowhegan, MassMoca, and the MacDowell Colony (where Lopes was a 2019 Marian O. Naumburg fellow). Lopes is an associate professor of art at John Jay College / the City University of New York. 

Terri Witek’s poetry collections include The Rape Kit (2018– winner of the Slope Editions Prize), "Body Switch" (2016) "Exit Island" (2012), The Shipwreck Dress (2008), Carnal World (2006); Fools and Crows (2003); and Courting Couples (2000), a Center for Book Arts Prize winner. She is also the author of Robert Lowell and Life Studies: Revising the Self. She has published poems in many journals, including the American Poetry Review, Poetry, The New Republic, and Slate, and created both site-specific and ephemeral work for social media and performance. Witek is the Art & Melissa Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University, where, in 2000, she received the McInery Award for Teaching, and in 2008, the John Hague Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in the liberal arts and sciences.

For further information on our programming, please visit the website at www.flagler.edu/crispellert, or contact Julie Dickover at 904-826-8530 or crispellert@flagler.edu.

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