Born in Belgrade in 1949, Alex Hamburger came to Brazil,
age 6, with his parents. His
endeavours in the art field started around 1973, after he gave up a career
as an economist.
Particularly concerned with the symbiotic possibilities of different modes
of expression, he
developed cross-disciplinary works of Visual and Sound Poetry, Object-Poems,
Book-Objects, Performances, “Anti-art” works etc.
From the seventies, extensive trips abroad&
a few long stays in Paris, London and New York gave him the opportunity to
many other artists including Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles and Richard Kostelanetz
Fluxus group, thus expanding his research in new theoretical directions.
In the last 20 years,
he has worked extensively, in his adoptive hometown of Rio de Janeiro and abroad,
the understanding of this other language. He has had several solo & group
shows; more than
30 performance pieces, 4 published books of experimental poetry, and several
|Sonoplastia - Vibrö 1
“Struggling for recognition, after nearly a century
of existence, Acoustic
Arts and experimental
poetry are expanding within the literary avant-garde and in the fringe circles
In this sense, ‘Sonoplastia’ can be regarded as the result of crossdisciplinary
art, a symbiosis of the worlds of language and the “organization” of
casual sounds (Cage)
through electronic technology.
|| When digging into the archeolgy of this media,
one could reach the non-semantic poetry of P. Sherbarth and C. Morgenstern,
followed by the Russian and Italian futurists, but mainly the Dada universe,
and their phonetically constructed
Related to Hörspiel, Radio & performance art, Visual Poetry, etc. Always
good to remember,
as Enzo Minarelli put it, that such a “sound poem” to be really complete
must be performed
live, in direct contact with an audience.” -Alex Hamburger
| What does Visual
Poetry mean to you?
Alex Hamburger - Weather Report - From the earliest years of the 20th
century, the verbal poetic system experimented with successive disintegrations,
first with the breakdown
of rhyme and rhythm, and then with the appearance of free verse. Then words began
spreading onto the page, giving poems a graphic configuration. Thus, visual poetry
is the possibility of a poetic of visuality where the plastic sign is able to
perform a poetical function.
Who were and/or are your sources of inspiration, your
models (either poets or artistic movements) in this artistic medium?
Alex Hamburger - My inspiration sources were many, the main ones being
Mallarmé’s "Un coup de dés," the futurist, dada
and surrealist works of people like Marinetti, Soffici, Russolo, Hugo Ball, Schwitters,
Tzara, Breton, Apollinaire, Khlebnikow, etc.
Also the poets of the ‘Lettrist’ movement,
Isidore Isou with his letters in freedom, the optophonetic poetry of Raoul Hausmann,
François Dufrene, the Vienna group, like Gerhard Ruhm, were very important. ‘Concretism,’ Augusto
and Haroldo de Campos, as well as the visual experiments of the Portuguese poet
E.M. de Mello e Castro and other poets of the 60s.
||Why did you choose
to create, or why do you enjoy creating, Visual Poetry as one of your artistic
Alex Hamburger - I chose visual poetry very early in my journey, because
the contemporary poetry achievements in the field of intersemiotics (the possibility
of the interaction of different esthetic languages) made it possible for me to
go much further in the use of the written word, which was not able to translate
the vast experiences I was having, in contrast with the new discoveries I was
making, as well as my inner uneasiness about what art should be.
When did you first adopt Visual Poetry as a mode of
Alex Hamburger - I adopted it as a means of expression around 1986,
after the issuing of my second book of verbal poetry. This was the beginning
of a new phase that has been included since then not just as visual poetry but,
it is important to add, its implications, like ‘objectpoem’, ‘antipoem’, ‘acousticpoem’.
All of them have very interesting solutions for my constant searches.
|"I began my activities in 1985 by creating a book of verbal experimental
poems entitled "Kit Selections" two years later I released "110/220V," which
was in the same experimental vein, but more radical, that is, with the use of
graphic signs, numbers and optophonetic resources. Parallel to these productions,
my preoccupations turned to the interactive potential of other art expressions,
in the 1980s and 1990s developing cross disciplinary works of visual poetry,
object poems, both in bi- and tri-dimensional forms, as well as live performances,
site-specific pieces and other products that I'd rather consider miscellaneous.
||Following in a work-in-progress way, my production
went into artist's books, book objects and sound poetry, where the use of verbivocovisual
fully present. The result was: "Biology of a Mineroeslav" (1991), "Graphemes" (1992),
both figuring in the collection of "Printed Matter Bookstore at Dia - NYC," "Final
Biscuit" (1992), "Alternative Current" (1993) and others exhibited
at a show of artist's books at the XXIII Venice Biennial (1993), among others." -Alex
3 (International Exhibition of new Poetical Tendencies, San Luis Obispo, California,
The Second International
Visual Poetry Exhibition (Melbourne, 1992)
In the Spirit of Fluxus (Santa
Books art productions
Presented in the
Matter Bookstore at Dia (New York).
Visual poetry productions
at the Galeria Saramenta (Brazil)
Compedium of Contemporary
Fine Prints (Germany)
Santa Barbara Museum of Art (USA)
Querini Stampalia, Venice
Centre Julio Gonzales (Spain)
|| sound poetry collections
25 (The New Worlds, curator E. Minarelli, Italy, 1995)
Poesia Sonora hoje (Uma Antologia Internacional, curator Ph. Menezes, Brazil,
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