Is this a poem?

Adventures on the edge of an artform.

23 February – 21 July 2024

Curated by Christodoulos Makris

This is an exhibition about poetry’s furthest frontiers. Explore the entire museum to discover works of poetry that exist beyond the page: poems that are sound, sculpture, image, film, performances, software, and objects you can touch.

The poems collected in this exhibition were mostly made in Ireland over the last decade, but are sometimes seen as a footnote to Irish poetry. Is this a poem? celebrates their playful capacity to surprise, challenge and inform our view of the world.

Christodoulos Makris is “one of Ireland’s leading contemporary explorers of experimental poetics” (The RTÉ Poetry Programme). He has published five books of poetry, as well as several limited edition pamphlets, artists’ books, digital projects and other poetry objects, with presses in Ireland, the UK and North America. Recent awards include Writer in Residence at Maynooth University (2018-19), a Literature Project Award from The Arts Council in 2020, and the inaugural Joseph M. Hassett Creativity Bursary for poetry from UCD in 2021.

Artists & works
Julie Morrissy, ‘1937 Constitution of Ireland / Positions Gendered Male in Bunreacht na hÉireann’
With a timely relevance to upcoming referenda, two text-based murals responding to gender inequality in Irish law and society, constructed from Irish legislation.

Kimberly Campanello, ‘MOTHERBABYHOME’
A 796-page conceptual and visual poetry ‘report’, composed entirely of text taken from sources related to the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway.

Bebe Ashley, ‘Confetti’
A project making use of 3D printing technology to manufacture lines of poetry printed in grade one braille, exploring issues of accessibility.

Gregory Betts, ‘Kyberdiagnostik’
A set of ten cards produced by administering a Rorschach test on an Artificial Intelligence deep dream generator.

Christodoulos Makris, ‘Chances Are’ (Riverrun of Language, Level 1)
A conceptual, ‘mass-collaboration’ digital poem, ‘Chances Are’ is a real time feed of every post on Twitter / X featuring the word ‘chance’.

Graham Allen, ‘Holes’
A projected day by day poem, with a ten-syllable line added each and every day since 23 December 2006.

Susan Connolly: ‘m’ & ‘Daytrip on the Enterprise’
Two visual poems linked by the practice of ‘typewriter poetry’ inspired by a train timetable and an eighth-century illuminated manuscript.

Sara Baume, ‘Handmade Readymade Souvenirs’
Handmade miniature figurines relating to artworks by the French painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp.

Poem as Performance: Emma Bennett, ‘What Matter’ / Ella de Burca, ‘Exposing the Doubt’ / CAH-44 featuring Raven, ‘Dublin Onion’ / James King: ‘Untitled’ (Screening Room, Level 3)
An audio-visual sequence of four live works, the poem is the performance itself.

Hayley Carr, ‘Glossolalia’
A sound poem that can be played forwards and backwards, inspired by the practice of backmasking, using backwards phonetics to express hidden trauma.

Suzanne Walsh, ‘BirdBecomeBird’ (The Readers Garden, Level 1)
An audio installation in the MoLI garden where looped vocal sounds become indistinguishable from sounds like bird song.

Robert Herbert McClean, ‘Songs for Ireland’
A video representing an AI bot, reading a sequence of poems algorithmically generated from source data collated from all recorded Irish poems published before 1921.

‘Is this your poem?’
Visitors are invited to pick up a crayon and make their own mark, contributing their own poetry to MoLI’s walls.

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