Jill Magi and Stephen Motika—“if recopying is to author” Exhibition Launch

Join The Flow Chart Foundation for a reading and conversation featuring artist/poet Jill Magi and legendary poet/publisher of Nightboat BooksStephen Motika, on the occasion of if recopying is to author” New Paintings, Fabric Works, and Books by Jill Magi at the Flow Chart Space (note: gallery opens at 11, the conversation till take place at 3pm).

“If recopying is to author” is a line from artist/poet Jill Magi’s poetry collection, SPEECH (Nightboat 2019). It also reveals the poetics underpinning the exhibited sequence of paintings, embroideries, hand-weavings, and handmade books. In both her poetry and visual work, Magi’s method is to copy and recopy, juxtapose, and enjamb. This revives the western pre-modern definition of writer as scribe and text as a drawn line that moves, where what’s centered is the physical endurance of writing a page to be read aloud, communally, and presented as a field to wander through rather than a map with a fixed arrival point. In her studio practice, Magi also copies and recopies physical gestures, moving them from one medium to another. For example, a mark made via action painting becomes a pattern for an embroidery; the checkered grid of strip-weaving becomes a template for hand-lettered banners; a bound book gathers handmade weavings rather than paper pages. Presented together, the works—seemingly endlessly citational—foster and celebrate “textility,” a disposition where concerting with materials, words, and humans is privileged over adhering to blueprints, genre boundaries, and pre-set messaging. To this end, Magi will preside in the space for a number of Saturdays (all but March 16th), copying and recopying the texts of others, including John Ashbery, as well as other guest poets (stay tuned for announcements!) who will join Magi in the space, resulting in a new fabric work whose form will invite disruption and emerge over the course of late winter into spring.

Jill Magi is a poet and artist based in southern Vermont after eleven years living in and learning from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. She has had solo exhibitions at Abu Dhabi’s 421 gallery (formerly known as Warehouse421), Grey Noise gallery in Dubai, Tashkeel in Dubai, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, and the New York University Project Space in Abu Dhabi. She is the author of six full-length books of poetry, and her handmade books are collected by the University at Buffalo Poetry Collection. Jill has held residencies with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center, and her visual work is in the permanent collection of Art Jameel and in private collections in Boston, New York, Kentucky, and elsewhere. For ten years she ran Sona Books, a community-based chapbook press, and she is a co-founder of JARA Collective, an Emirates-based publishing project. For her work in publishing, she was named as among the most inspiring authors in the world by Poets & Writers magazine. A dedicated educator, Jill has taught writing, art, cultural studies, and theory for over twenty-five years at public and private universities, small liberal arts colleges, and art schools. She is currently at work on a dissertation at the European Graduate School: a poetics that reframes “literature” and “experimental poetry” via textile practices, specifically, and via textility, more broadly.


Stephen Motika is the author of the book of poems, Western Practice, and the chapbooks Arrival and at Mono, In the Madrones, and Private Archive. He is the editor of Tiresias: The Collected Poems of Leland Hickman and coeditor of Dear Kathleen: On the Occasion of Kathleen Fraser’s 80th Birthday. His articles and poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, At Length, BOMB, the Brooklyn Review, the Constant Critic, Eleven Eleven, Maggy, the Poetry Project Newsletter, Poets & Writers, Poets.org, and Vanitas, among other publications. He has held residencies at the Lannan Foundation, Marfa, TX; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace; Millay Colony for the Arts; and ZK/U in Berlin, and taught at the Indiana University Writers Conference, Lehman College of the City University of New York, Naropa University, and the Stonecoast MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He is the director and publisher of Nightboat Books.



Mar 02 2024


3:00 pm
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