Les Mots et Les Choses
Future Plan and Program is a provisional publishing project created by Steffani Jemison, featuring newly commissioned literary works by visual artists. The first six books were published in May 2011. For this program, three of the artists present hybrid performances that combine the act of reading or lecturing with related visual components. Authors Jina Valentine, Jibade-Khalil Huffman and Steffani Jemison offer illustrated readings inspired by their recent publications. The event features Foucault for Aphasics, a performance/presentation by Jina Valentine; WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU, YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE, a "shot-by-shot" remake of John Ashbery's Harvard lectures by Jibade-Khalil Huffman; and Truth and Greatness, a reading with video by Steffani Jemison.
For more information about the authors, their books or the publishing project, visit futureplanandprogram.com.
About the Artists and their Projects
Truth and Greatness
Steffani will read an excerpt from part 1 of "Truth and Greatness," a book created in collaboration with two Houston-based poets. "Truth and Greatness" is a nonfiction novella transcribing the creative process of two Houston-based spoken word performers, Michael “Truth” Graham and Khorey “Greatness” Smith. The narrative represents the creative process of the poets as they write, including their conversations about language, politics, street literature, the art world, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Immediately following the reading, Steffani will screen a few minutes of source material for the book.
Foucault for Aphasics
Artist Jina Valentine entirely dissects a philosophical text on authorship as a reflection on the language parsing disorder called "aphasia." In this work, Michel Foucault's "What is an Author" is categorized by each individual occurrence of every letter in the alphabet. The fifteen pages of total text will be represented both in visual form (highlighting the exact placement of each letter on each page) and in audio form (each occurrence of the letter is spoken). The performance/presentation will include statistical analysis on the letters shown.
WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE
Khalil will deliver a 15 to 20 minute lecture/performance with an accompanying slideshow and soundtrack. A 'shot for shot remake' of poet John Ashbery's famed series of lectures at Harvard in 1989-90, "WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE," is concerned with art history, whiteness, and the anxiety of influence. Khalil’s book James Brown is Dead was published by Future Plan and Program in 2011.