Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Each two-part seminar introduces a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are responded to, researched and discussed to propel them forward in unique ways.
In Part One of “Stand Up,” poet Cathy Park Hong considers 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. Hong’s lecture explores her developing body of work about the abject body and comedy. In Part Two, Ariana Reines, Catherine Wagner, Mores McWreath and Ronaldo V. Wilson perform and read works in response to Hong’s propositions.
To guide you through the performance, Cathy Park Hong’s reading starts at the 0:03:00 mark; Ariana Reines’ reading starts around the 0:54:30 mark; Catherine Wagner’s reading starts around the 1:17:16; Mores McWreath’s video presentation and reading starts at about the 1:25:48 mark; and Ronaldo V. Wilson’s reading starts at the 1:35:05 mark. Unfortunately, about eight minutes of Catherine Wagner’s reading is not included in the video.
Cathy Park Hong’s first book, Translating Mo’um, was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution, was chosen for the Barnard Women Poets Prize and was published in 2007 by W.W. Norton and her third book of poems, Engine Empire, was published in May 2012 by W.W. Norton. Hong is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in A Public Space, Poetry, Paris Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, Harvard Review, Boston Review, the Nation and other journals. She is a member of the artist/writer’s collaborative 2-UP and is an Associate Professor at Sarah Lawrence College.
Ariana Reines is the author of The Cow (winner of the Alberta Prize from Fence, 2006), Coeur de Lion (Fence, 2011), Mercury (Fence, 2011), Thursday (Spork, 2013) and the play TELEPHONE, commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theatre in 2009 and awarded two OBIEs. Translations include Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl by TIQQUN, The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal by Jean-Luc Hennig (Semiotext(e), 2009) and My Heart Laid Bare by Charles Baudelaire (Mal-O-Mar, 2009).
Mores McWreath received a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Recent solo and two person exhibitions/commissions include the New Museum, CUE Art Foundation, M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, and the Allcott Gallery UNC Chapel Hill. His work has been exhibited in group shows at the ICA Philadelphia, Walker Art Center, Art in General, International Studio and Curatorial Program NY and John Connelly Presents. His videos have been screened in festivals and exhibitions both nationally and internationally including the Taiwan International Video Exhibition, Videomedeja Serbia, 700IS Iceland, and the Jakarta International Video Festival. He currently teaches at The Cooper Union.
Catherine Wagner’s collections of poems include Nervous Device (City Lights, 2012) and three books from Fence: My New Job (2009), Macular Hole (2004) and Miss America (2001). Her work has been anthologized in the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, Out of Everywhere: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK (second edition), Gurlesque, Poets on Teaching, Best American Erotic Poems and elsewhere. She lives in Oxford, Ohio.
Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also an Assistant Professor of Poetry, Fiction and Literature in the Literature Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz. His latest book, Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press.