Monday, January 13, 2020

Asemic Front Review: "palingEnesia" by Michael Orr (Timglaset Editions - Sweden)

Cover of palingEnesia by Michael Orr (aka Orzechowski). Published
in 2019 by Joakim Norling's Timglaset Editions (Sweden)
Asemic Front 2 is thrilled to share news of the publication of Michael Orr's palingEnesia by Timglaset Editions in Sweden.
Michael Orr is a contributor to the Asemic Front project, and I look forward to sharing more of his work in the future. In the spirit of full disclosure, I must note that I wrote the introduction to palingEnesia. So you can find my theoretical views on Orr's visual poems in the book; obviously I am a longtime Orrian or in other words a huge Michael Orr fan.
I will try not to use this space to recycle my essay or meta-criticism. I am compelled to tell you that I see palingEnesia as a significant book in the genre of visual poetry and in Michael Orr's evolution as an artist and visual poet.
In an age of look-a-likes, copycats and knackers ("You're living off the corpse of the old world, Max."), Orr introduces us to his highly original vispo and asemics that achieve the elusive synthesis of text and image, a feat often promised by visual poets but seldom delivered. For me, palingEnesia marks a breakthrough for Orr from a skilled (as well as conceptual) visual artist into a true visual poet who has discovered a new world of symbols and forms. The excitement of the discovery is a factor that gives the collection energy.
Pages from palingEnesia by Michael Orr (Timglaset Editions, Sweden)

I am sure that many readers know the feeling - akin to struggling in quicksand - of trying to explain rationally in words the subjective experience of entering an asemic text or visual poem. (Have we evolved to visual poetry precisely because previous modes of poetry are no longer adequate?)

I was humbled and enlightened, then, upon receiving my copy of Orr's book with commentary by Bibiana Padilla Maltos. In a few words she offers clear insights into Orr's work that eluded me in paragraphs. I share these words by Bibiana: "Michael Orr's paling Enesia balances visuals and textuality in an array of exceptional concrete imagery. He creates a semiotic study that helps us scrutinize our personalities and cognition."

From palingEnesia by Michael Orr (Timglaset Editions, Sweden)
Joakim Norling's Timglaset Editions is becoming, if it has not already achieved the status of, a world leader in visual poetry, asemic writing and concrete poetry publishing. palingEnesia is beautifully printed and the color, especially, is remarkable. All in all, this is a superb book that offers hours of contemplation and joy.
- De Villo Sloan


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