The graphic series Metanoia (meaning change of mind in Greek) are reworks of typewritten concrete poems by artist and poet Raul Meel by artist KIWA.
Concrete poetry, also known as visual poetry, is a text form where the typographical effects are more important in conveying meaning than the verbal significance itself. Concrete poems are interested in the concreteness, materiality, objectivity of language and aims to visualise the word. With an experimental approach to text it relates to themes such as text sovereignty, materiality and the self-reflexivity of language, the scope of which ranges from everyday and understandable signs to cosmic patterns.
Raul Meel’s typewriter drawings from the 1960’s are important from several interwoven aspects: cultural history, technology, epistemology and the relationship between text and speech. In the 1960’s-1970’s, concrete poetry was also related to the emerging counterculture and nonconformist art in the Soviet Union. In a context of limited information spread, the typewriter was one of a few available technologies that enabled self-productivity and was an important tool for self-publishing, or samizdat. Visually, the typewriter font with the black and white form was also associated with power and legislation of official directives that did not tolerate interpretation. The limited freedom of speech was accompanied by so-called writing between the lines, which became symbolic in a context where language was deprived of its primary or communicative function.
In classical culture we talk about hommages and in the last couple of decades about remix culture. Glitch and error that are an unintended side effects of technology, have become a style of their own, even a market niche, and are thus as much a reaction to technological utopia as the 20th century anti-art currents were to traditional art.
KIWA’s reworks of Meel’s poetry are a hommage to the canonised author and give his works a new, ghostly parallel life. Inspired by the remix culture from music and using different methods together with glitch apps, KIWA brings the psychedelia of Meel’s era into the future. Like a DJ scratching a record, KIWA has scratched Raul Meel’s typewriter drawings while scanning the work. By doing so, the interdisciplinarity of Metanoia allows you to experience certain sound combinations while concentrating on the images. Micro-level metamorphoses of texts have added new, energetic and multi-sensory levels to the works. Metanoia has appeared, new worlds have been created.
KIWA (b. 1975) is a versatile artist, composer, curator and writer, metamodernist, founder of the publishing house ;paranoia.
Raul Meel (b. 1941) is an important avant-garde artists in Estonian art, a pioneer of local concrete poetry, graphic artist, painter, sculptor, installation and fire performance artist.
Exhibition is curated by Bianka Soe.
The exhibition in the Telliskivi Creative City’s Outdoor Gallery will remain open until the end of February, 2023.