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Date & Time

Thursday, February 9, 2017
5:30 PM


Multiple Locations (see description)


Free, but space is limited. Please register in advance.

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Smart Museum of Art



This two-part program investigates works of konkrete poesie (concrete poetry) through exhibition tours, a concrete-making activity, and a writing workshop. It highlights works by artists and writers in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland in the 1960s and 1970s who tested the material display of language, focusing on the object-quality of letters and words.

Part I takes place Thursday, February 9, 5:30–7:30 pm and features tours of the complementary exhibitions Vostell Concrete, 1969–1974 (at the Smart Museum of Art) and Concrete Poetry, Concrete Book: Artists’ Books in German-speaking Space after 1945 (at the University of Chicago Library's Special Collections Research Center). Following the tour, participants will create poured concrete tablets.

Part II takes place Thursday, February 16, 6–8 pm, and continues the exploration of concrete poetry at the Poetry Foundation (61 West Superior Street). It begins with an exploration of poets in the Poetry Foundation library who investigated the material and technical forms of the book and the written word. Then, participants will write (and build) concrete poems.

This event is part of Concrete Happenings at the University of Chicago, a collaborative series of public exhibitions, screenings, symposia, and other programs that mark the return of Wolf Vostell’s colossal Concrete Traffic (1970) to public view following a major conservation effort.