Estructura / Spain 1920-2000 / Alain Arias-Misson

The experimental poet Alain Arias-Misson was born in Brussels in 1936. After studying in the United States, graduating from the University of Harvard, he settled in Spain in 1963, where he took an interest in the experimental poetry of the sixties. In 1967 he came up with the idea of a ‘public poem’, intervening in the city’s public spaces in an attempt to respond to the question: Why not use cities as a page? In 1971, together with Ignacio Gómez de Liaño and Herminio Molero, he carried out a series of street actions using large-scale letters with which they formed occasional words. In 1972 he participated in the Encuentros de Pamplona with a ‘public poem’.

Arias-Misson intervenes with his body and that of his assistants in public spaces, taking over the streets in an exercise of freedom that goes beyond conventions and common spaces. In his poems, spaces are used as blank pages upon which he writes, alongside a text that the occasional passer-by can read. His work, nevertheless, differs from actionism, performance and body-art, as his aim is, in essence, poetic, working with linguistic signs: letters, typographic characters, phonetic symbols, masks, disguises, speech bubbles, etc.

Arias Misson has published several books and has collaborated with the magazine De Tafelronde de Amberes directed by the concrete poet Paul De Vree, the avant-garde magazine Phantomas de Bruselas, and the Italian group Lotta Poetica.

Comprised of roughly a dozen original works created from 1963 to 1978, the Arias-Misson collection of Archivo Lafuente includes works such as the photographic montages Homage to Trakl (1963–1964), The GD Public Poem (1969), Palabras frágiles (1971) and The Oil Crisis (1972); the collage The Beethoven Public Poem (1978) and the multiple Poem Slide Box (1963–1964).

 



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