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Durand, Marcella - Poetry Project Newsletter
Poetry Project Newsletter, Issue #166, October/November 1997


Homage to Allen G.
George Schneeman and Anne Waldman
Granary Books (568 Broadway, #403, New York, NY
10012), 1997, limited edition portfolio, $500/$250.

A planned collaboration turned tribute, Homage to Allen G. is George Schneeman's drawing/tracings of Ginsberg's photographs, with, in a sort of "text conversion," Anne Waldman's handwritten words intertwined with the images. It's a thought-provoking work in taking the incompleted project from the already completed photographs, and using the bare bones of the images as a basis for liquid and simple line drawings which distill down to the essence of the photograph—more often than not the person photographed. These drawings, in their melancholy lines, eyes and face reduced to opaque strokes of black, are actually the antithesis of the documentary, almost cold nature of photographs; Ginsberg's were leavened by his expressive handwritten poem-descriptions at the bottom. Waldman physically elevates the sense of Ginsberg's scrawls into the space of the drawings, limning the sides of tables, angles, legs with words or floating words in the "speech-space" of the figures. The book ends up being "ghostly" in the truest sense of the word: the two artists inspired by an incompleted project (incompleteness being one of the most inspiring and proto-creative states) consisting of photographic bones and transforming these bones into subjective "words" which themselves become drawings—responsive to the traced and transmuted images of the photographs, what the words "say" becomes ethereal. Homage to Allen G. takes the documentary evidence of a life, seen through the lens/eyes of the live-r, and turns it into a true haunting: the physical transformed into the mental and emotional traces of a remembered life.

Marcella Durand

Granary Books 168 Mercer Street, 2nd floor New York, NY 10012 USAtel 212 337 9979fax 212 337 9774info@granarybooks.com

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