On April 14th, 2014
I have never been able to separate both, the exploration of my own psyche from my artwork. The role of the artwork is perhaps what Zizek says, The artist’s function is to change the mode of discourse. In other words, rather than trying to answer questions, artworks should be tools to provide new questions that break from the mystification of problems of the self and of society.
Only poetry is possible
This is incredibly hopeful to me. There is a place that all is possible, where the uncanny can take full force, where art can be a powerful tool of invention and transformation. This is where the artist becomes a “terrorist.”
Rules are for counting stars on a bike at high speed.
I quote the beautiful words that the Russian giant, Mayakovsky, used to defend the idea that poets should not follow the rules, but to INVENT them. He wrote that good rules are born as a response to genuine internal or external demands.
Every poet is a weapon dealer.
The Spanish poet José Bergamin says
We are not and will never be terrorists, but what you believe may be a terrorist, this is what we are!
On April 16th, 2014, a dialogue between Simone Couto and the artist Andrew Pietro in response to the text above:
Simone: Dear Andrew, I read your writing yesterday while a weird thing, something almost-snow, was coming down. What a realized was your courage to say that you were somewhat a mistake, which I also was.
Interestingly, the most of our works deal, one way or another, with the most obscure side of us. Nevertheless, this is the place of force of most artists. This is the reason we came to the arts. Isn’t it? Then, we take different routes. The question is how can one make the jump from the particular experience to the general. I believe this kind of art will be the one standing, even if ephemeral. Poetry is to me, the place where there is a space for this transgression.
Andrew: And this is my reason for the questioning. Mainly because we can also see the obverse, that every weapons dealer is a poet.
Simone: This inversion is quite interesting, and yes, it makes sense when we think in terms of transgression.
Andrew: There is a positive tonality to all this, in that we can learn this and use it. It should be available to everyone. What if there was an elementary school class in poetics?
Simone: Yes, there is. In fact, the poet Chacal is in NYC now. He and other friends came to my house and we talked about poetry in length. This man was the founder of Marginal Poetry Movement. He transformed poetry by removing it from the elite and the salons and bringing it back to everyone. Today he still brings poetry to the slums, to remote places as well as traditional institutions such as Harvard. He was just there giving a talk last week. Chacal said something marvelous to me, Poetry is not meant to save anyone. He went on, I hate when people say that only poetry saves you. It is meant to be part of life, to make people happy as they socialize with others. Yet, he says that poetry is good for nothing, he is making accessible to low income communities. He is deeply involved in with the indigenous communities, fighting for the cause in Brazil. He concluded the conversation by advising me, Use it to make your life a happier one.
We spoke about poetry as being the stitching line between the all the other medias and the community. I extend this thought beyond the media of poetry. I include all others or any kind of action that embraces the importance of breaking the hierarchy of knowledge so everyone can have access to the arts and can participate.
So, I see the efforts.