Poetry. Photography. Performance. BODY OF TEXT is a collection of concrete poems made by marrying poetry with body-based performance art and documentary photography. Dressed in a full black body-suit, Michael V. Smith is photographed by David Ellingsen in hundreds of poses which resemble Greco-Roman letters, Asian characters, hieroglyphs, or Rorschach inkblots. These are then arranged in book form, to a maximum of three images per page. In the same spirit of moving beyond language as heard in the sound poetry of Christian Bok the poems in BODY OF TEXT occupy a liminal space between poetry and visual art. The body is made word, is made site, object and subject. The body is symbol.
Michael V. Smith is a Vancouver writer, comedian, filmmaker, zinester, performance artist and occasional clown. Recently, Smith won Vancouver’s Community Hero of the Year Award and the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Award for Emerging Gay Writers. He’s also won a Western Magazine Award for Fiction, scooped both short film categories at Toronto’s Inside Out festival, and was nominated for the Journey Prize. Smith is the author of the novel Cumberland, and a collection of poems titled What You Can’t Have.
David Ellingsen is a vancouver photographer who’s landscapes have been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the US, as well as on film and television productions such as The L Word and 4400. Alongside his fine art work, David is running a successful commercial photography business with clients such as The New York Times Magazine and CBC Radio Canada.