Gareth Jenkins
Artist’s Statement

Jed Rasula and Steve McCaffery define literature as ‘the exploration and exercise of tolerable linguistic deviance’. My work, both creative and theoretical, investigates the relation between tolerable and intolerable linguistic deviance. To this end the present series of concrete poems enlarges, inverts, fragments and layers original poetic phrases to disrupt the communication of semantic meaning and emphasise the graphic nature of text.

Letters and numerals become the basis for pattern-making, facilitated and influenced by the material characteristics of the transparencies on which they are printed and the natural loss of definition effected through repeated photocopying.

My creative practice is influenced by my theoretical studies into the Outsider writing of art-makers who have experienced schizophrenia. Here, the shared grammatical and denotative rules of language are often traduced so that conventional meaning is distorted towards the ambiguity of ‘noise’; such ambiguity doesn’t represent meaninglessness, but is rather the linguistic expression of idiosyncratic world-views. These linguistic explorations are less an exercise in experimentation and more an attempt to express or quell the lived experience of language as an animate and often unstable medium for interacting with the world. It is the power of written and spoken language to interact with and influence physical, social and psychic landscapes that most fascinates me, directing both my theoretical and creative practices.