"Unique Zones of Our Life"
Excerpt from visual poetry book GHROMYT by J. M. Calleja and Carlota Caulfield
"GHROMYT captures 24 hotels that became unique zones of our lives. We played with words and images until finding the expression of our recollections."
From Introduction by Jordi Marrugat
Hotels appear in our space-time fabric as conjunctive nodes that collect the countless threads of the travelers' trajectories and open them to the current physical environment, to its supra-historical cultural projection and to inner personal intimacy. They are transit locations to which one abandons the familiar collective to come into contact with another before returning transformed: GHROMYT offers in terstitial zones of detached observation in which memory and novelty exchange flows to turn the traveler into some one else with new experiences, new memories, new images of himself/herself and the world. Linked to space and time, though, they seem like an opening or a pause in which everything momentarily becomes possible above and beyond everything. lts concretion is hardly seen or remembered. lts often homogeneous aesthetic undoubtedly contributes to this. The hotel is not experienced as a zone with its own entity, but as a portal to the wonder of the imagination renewed by contact with a place that, does in deed, impose its concreteness--unfortunately, though, one that is increasingly strained and diffused through rampant globalization.
The beauty and strangeness of GHROMYT's poems lies precisely in offering this multiple experience of the hotel in images. This is indicated by its no less strange and beautiful title: a combination of letters in which the random combinatorial nature of any trip seems to have intervened, the names of the travelers (the r and the o of Carlota, the m of J.M. Calleja), the h of hotel and a visual and playful use of language (the o to the center, as a nucleus, a mirror, a clock, a zero,a multidirectional starting point followed by "myt," evocative of "meet," the hotel as meeting place).
Each GHROMYT poem builds the image of a hotel as a gathering of experiences of different orders: personal memories, the silhouette of a city, its representative works of art, its known inhabitants, elements of the national flag, the rain... The language that Calleja and Caulfield construct, with its combination of concrete and visual poetry, its collages, paintings, and objets trouvés, proves magnificently capable of transcending the simplicity of the superficial, unconscious, linear gaze. The mixture of artistic resources within the book of poems accounts for the essential complexity of the conjured experience. The achieved form is already by itself the content of each poem. lt is not limited to giving an image that tries to re cover what has already been lived, but one that becomes a new experience enriched by the meeting of two poets. It transforms the personal memory from the shared present: it is projected backwards and forwards: photography is immersed in the future. Each page of GHROMYT does not seek the incautious evocation of a stay in a hotel, but is fully transfigured into a hotel where you can live, having new experiences.
GHROMYT is available from REDFOXPRESS.
J. M.Calleja was born in Mataro, Spain in 1952. Visual poet, multimedia artist and performer. Formed in the world of the image (photography-cinema), the artist realised various experimental films (8mm) between 1976-81. Coordinator and curator of different creative events.Expo sitions: Poesia Visual del'Estat Espanyol. Lleida1989(trav elling 1 year) and Poesia Visual Catalana. Barcelona 1999 (travelling 2 years). Anthologies:1 7 (Spanish Experimental Poetry) withJ.A.Sarmiento (1980),Poesía Experimental-93 (1993), Vl(r)US (2005), Poéticas Experimentales Catalanas with JordiMarrugat (2018),.•• xyzA-Cdef... (Anthology of Argentine and Catalan Visual Poetry) with Claudio Mangifesta (2019) and Vl(r)US-dos (2020).
lnstallations realised in Greece, México,Uruguay,Germany, France, ltaly and Spain. Performances realised in México, Brazil, Argentine, Uruguay, Italia, Germany, France and Spain Personal books: Llibre de leshores (1981), + Que mai per als ulls (1988), Mixtures (1993), Transfusions (1996), Alfabia (2000), Desfilada (2003), Homenajes (2007), Pets (2009), Mes de Maria (2011), ABCDarum with K.P.Dencker (2013), Huellas. Poemas visuales 1974-2006 (2013),Album 013(2016),Travessia with C.Mangifesta (2017),Dietari 015 (2018), Aquiahoraotravoz with A.Thornton (2021) and ln édits deis setanta (2021).
Carlota Caulfield was born in Havana, Cuba.A poet, essayist and translator, she has been recognized with many awards, among them the 2016-2019 Mills College W.M. Keck Professor in Creative Writing, the First lnternational Poetry Prize "Dulce María Loynaz," (Spain-Cuba 1999), and the lnternational Poetry Prize, Poets of the World, ("Ultimo Novecento") ltaly,1988. She has been a Visiting Scholar / Poet in Residence at the University of London, University College London, University of Grüningen, New Mexico State University, Pomona College and the University of Barcelona. She is Professor of lberian and Spanish American Studies at Mills College (California).
She is an active participant in Experimental and Visual Poetry events. Caulfield also co-organized art projects and exhibitions in Spain, Mexico, New York, Holland, Oakland and SanFrancisco. She is the producer of the documentary Llígans. The Art of the Catalan Painter Carme Riera, directed by Ona Vega in 2008.Her work Le malheur d'aimer. Home naje a Dora Maar (piece of art) was exhibited in "Gráfica contemporánea y poesía experimental." Sináptica Exhibi tion, Mexico, 2021.
She is currently finishing a poetry book about New Mexican birds and completing her collection "Dreaming birds," drawings from the red dessert house (2020-2021).