Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jeremy Rabus, complex in his levels and his heights

I was excited to hear that Jeremy Rabus has confirmed for the 2009 Poetry Scores Art Invitational. Our newest board member Stephen Lindsley recruited him.

I have some memory of Jeremy being a last-minute walk-on to last year's Invitational devoted to the K. Curtis Lyle poem we published, Nailed Seraphim; though I can find no trace of him in the mockup to that show I posted.

These are images of very recent work I have been following, with delight, through Jeremy's social media updates - and I do appreciate artists in any medium who use the internet to share new work and works in progress.

I posted these for their sheer beauty, but also because the poem we are scoring this year, The Sydney Highrise Variations by Australia's most decorated poet Les Murray, is a poem, in part, about vertical space, something Jeremy seems to be exploring at the moment.

As I preview artists who confirm for the Invitational, I am looking for explorations of the vertical - of their own "highrise variations" - though I want to emphasize up front that this is a crude simplification of Les' poem. It's as much about modernity, the growth of cities and the history of Australia as it is about vertical space - the grandeur and danger of very tall things.

This last image of Jeremy's, untitled (and unsold!) on his blog, speaks to me of Les' poem. It is striated, and Les references "Strata Title" ownership of multi-level dwellings. This image also glories in the horizontal as much (or more) than the vertical, and that drills right into the heart of the poem's argument about cities.

Les Murray is, at best, ambivalent about cities. His poem concludes with an image of the metropolis as a constellation of "glittering and genteel towns," and we are left with the sense that the poet is content to leave behind these highrises in all their variations - which are anyway "more complex in their levels," he says, "than their heights".

More complex in their levels than their heights: A phrase that could title this untitled piece by Jeremy Rabus.

The Sydney Highrise Art Invitational is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13 at The Luminary Center for the Arts.

More in this series

Dante, Cromwell & the phenomenon of the century
Edmondson to make pinewood derby for Invitational
Dana Smith confirms for 2009 Art Invitational
Colin Michael Shaw confirms for 2009 Art Invitational

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