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Jay Sanders, Part 1

A two-part conversation in which poet/host Charles Bernstein and curator Jay Sanders interview each other, read essays, and discuss projects. In Part 1 Bernstein takes the role as interviewer. Part 2 has Sanders in the host chair.

Whitney Museum Curator of Performance Jay Sanders and poet Charles Bernstein discuss their work in, on, and around sound, performance, installation, dance, poetry, theater, poetics, curating, editing, and essay writing. They also reflect on their previous collaboration curating the 2001 exhibition Poetry Plastique at the Marianne Boesky Gallery. This event was organized as part of the exhibition S/N, curated by the 2014–15 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows of the Independent Study Program. The event took place at The Kitchen in New York in June, 2015.

Before their Close Listening interviews, Sanders and Bernstein each sat down to read essays. Bernstein read his preface to Pitch of Poetry and discussed his work with audio-tape poems. Sanders followed this by playing the music of composer and mechanical piano maestro Conlon Nancarrow, illustrating a show he co-curated, Anywhere in Time: A Conlon Nancarrow Festival. In the interview, Sanders also discussed his show Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama.

Jay Sanders was named Curator and Curator of Performance of the Whitney after co-organizing the museum's 2012 Biennial.


Close Listening


Conversations and readings with poets and artists, produced in cooperation with PennSound and hosted by Charles Bernstein, the American poet, theorist, editor, and literary scholar. Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. He is a foundational member and leading practitioner of Language poetry. Bernstein was educated at the Bronx High School of Science and at Harvard University, where he studied philosophy with Stanley Cavell and wrote his final thesis on Gertrude Stein and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

In the mid-1970s Bernstein became active in the experimental poetry scenes in New York and San Francisco, not only as a poet, but also as an editor, publisher, and theorist. With visual artist and wife Susan Bee, Bernstein published several now well-known poets whose work is associated with Language writing.