Waterfall Plot: Poetry and Photography by Andrew Zawacki
On view: September 8, 2020
Andrew Zawacki has paired twenty black and white, large format photographs with twenty short poems in his latest poetry volume, titled "Waterfall plot". Zawacki, who is a Professor of English at the University of Georgia, has created a multimedia experience for Lyndon House Arts Center guests. Visitors can experience an on-going poetry reading, while viewing projected images of the accompanying photographs.
The format of Zawacki’s hybrid project is adapted from the “Wheel-Rim River” suite by eighth-century Chinese poet, painter, musician, and politician Wang Wei. His poems comprise exactly half the Wangchuan ji, or The Wang River Collection, a series written collaboratively with his friend and fellow Tang dynasty poet Pei Di. Zawacki’s loose variations are informed by—and in turn deform—Pauline Yu’s The Poetry of Wang Wei: New Translations and Commentary, Eliot Weinberger and Octavio Paz’s 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, and especially David Hinton’s translations in The Selected Poems of Wang Wei.
The accompanying large format photographs—shot with 4x5 film, to replicate the aspect ratio of Wang’s poems: four verses containing five characters each—were taken at a compound of disused chicken coops in Athens, Georgia. The site has since been dismantled altogether. The placard at the location still reads: “University of Georgia / Southern Regional / Poultry Genetics Laboratory / Agricultural Experiment Station of the / Southern Region & ARS-USDA Cooperating.”
The poems and photographs from “Waterfall Plot” appear in Andrew Zawacki’s most recent poetry volume, UNSUN : f/11, from Coach House Books.