Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Immortality and Vulnerability: A Huge Weight

Photo © Nadine Robbins 2015.
The poets and artists of Immortality and Vulnerability.

There is an exciting new art show with a twist of poetry at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. Immortality and Vulnerability blends together artists and poets, the art and the poetry, in a month long exhibit.

Media for Immortality and Vulnerability states that, "In this exhibition, the invited artists and poets have been asked to reinterpret the idea of immortality and vulnerability in a personal, psychological or social manner and provide the viewer with a contemporary glimpse into an age old concept."

Immortality and Vulnerability is that rare occasion when two art forms come together to create a new visual and cerebral experience. Didi Menendez, publisher/editor at Poets and Artists curated the poetry for the exhibition. Didi also curated the art alongside Sergio Gomez of the Zhou B Arts Center. The wide open space of the second floor gallery lends itself well to the overall feel of the exhibition as the viewer can be left feeling vulnerable in the gallery's expanse.

In the coming days The Bar None Group is going to highlight poetry from the poets featured in Immortality and Vulnerability. Today we shine the spotlight on Vincent Katz's poem, A Huge Weight.

A Huge Weight

A Huge weight crushing your head

marching boots on pebbles
on hard earth, on saccharine,
songs of feather-lightness (head) and
rain, rain turning road to mud to boot

Weight crushing your head

feet walking, bare feet
on hard path, earth hardened by
feet never knew no shoe


waiting in rain in rock in lonely place


juggernaut of law, systems set "up"
somewhere by people
long ago some thought of you
others of fat pig in meadow

A hard wait

waiting for a way out
way to answer
deadness of no complaint

moving endlessly
through space

— Vincent Katz

No stranger to blending the two mediums of art and poetry, Vincent Katz is the author of 11 books of poetry with art or photography integral to the presentation of his work. From his second book, A Tremor In The Morning (1986, Peter Blum Edition, with linocuts by Alex Katz), through to his latest collection, Alcuni Telefonini (2008, Granary Books, with watercolors by Francesco Clemente) Katz has used art to complement his own art — his poetry.

He won the 2005 National Translation Award, given by the American Literary Translators Association, for his book of translations from Latin, The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius (2004, Princeton University Press). Katz was also awarded a Rome Prize Fellowship in Literature at the American Academy in Rome for 2001-2002 and was a Guest of the Director for a one-month residency at the American Academy in Berlin in Spring, 2006.

Poets and Artists (PA) are a multi-interactive publication including print-on-demand. Published from 6 to 8 times a year, PA likes to place poetry and art together as they should be. They interview art collectors, poets, artists, gallery owners and art dealers to keep their readers in the know. PA publish, "what we love and not what we are paid to publish. We do not advertise. We do not have institutions dictating to us. We feel quality is worth more than quantity." PA has made Immortality and Vulnerability available for purchase in book form.

The Zhou B Art Center was founded in 2004 by the internationally acclaimed Zhou Brothers. Located in Bridgeport, the Zhou B Art Center's mission is to promote and facilitate a cultural dialogue by organizing contemporary art exhibitions and programs of international scope. As a Center created by artists, for artists, the vision of the Center is to facilitate the exchange of contemporary art between Chicago and the international art community and promote the convergence of Eastern and Western art forms in the United States.

Photo taken by Didi Menendez with Nadine Robbins' camera April 16, 2015 around 2:20 PM Central Time. Photo © Nadine Robbins 2015.


  1. I co-curated the art with Sergio not just the poetry. Thanks for the article. Didi Menendez

    1. Didi, thank you for providing me with the info I needed to write this article. I have amended the story to reflect your comment.