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Enter a Living Embodiment of a Poetry Magazine

Experience poetry made space at Postprint Gallery's ‘Expensive Poetry’ conceptual live magazine launch.
'Sent from my iPhone' by Seldon Yuan. Photo by Ivan Sikic Images courtesy of Outlet Fine Art

The contents of a "conceptual live magazine," in which the pieces in a space are arranged to be read and interacted with, emerges at Outlet Gallery in Brooklyn. Curated by Charles Shields and Julian A. Jimarez Howard, Postprint Magazine’s first issue, Expensive Poetry, is a nonexistent print publication featuring works by eight artists, including Sharon Butler, Paul D’Agostino, and Giovanna Olmos.

Instead, Jimarez Howard and Shields take the idea of art on a printed page and expand it beyond its reach, imagining future issues in different locations. “When you enter the exhibition space, you’re quite literally standing inside the first issue of Postprint Magazine. In the future, this issue will exist as an archive on the website of Outlet Gallery and Postprint Magazine, but it’s conditioned to be most deeply experienced IRL,” says Shields. The pieces invite you to engage and explore and become a part of the installation, much like flipping through the pages of a brand new mag.


Expensive Poetry installation shot

Postprint came from rejection. I tried to get my work distributed to the subcultures it might interest in the classical way, by submitting to well-regarded periodicals of poetry, but most didn’t even allow for the upload of a .jpg in their submission manager. This narrow-minded interpretation of poetry […] has so many daddy issues I was moved to create a space that would effectively exceed the limits of the printed page and daddy-at-large. A publishing platform conditioned to be read IRL is a way of accommodating such work,” says Shields.

In part, Shields and Jimarez Howard co-curated the show as a means to build community, collaborate, and expand the notion of physical poetry as a continuation of artists' practices, including those of Cy Twombly, Vito Acconci, and Lawrence Weiner.

Expensive Poetry (Left to right; Charles Shields, Sharon Butler, Charles Shields) 

Sharon Butler’s paintings are simplistic in form but heavy on color, adding to Charles Shields' muted ceramic and poetic pieces. Paul D’agostino’s works draw the viewer in with their colorful shapes that seem as if they are meant to be read. In the center of the room are works by Authentic Skid Mark, vibrant fashion pieces with sewn sentences such as, “Someone you love is ugly,” are funny and captivating all at once. Gary Gissler’s pieces adorn sections of the room with their word-based precision.

Nestled next to video piece by Julia Madsen in the backroom of the gallery, small piles of black sand lay out on the ground, spelling out Seldon Yuan's installation. Says Yuan, “I draw a line to divide this space in two in order to know where I am, not to render this space unfamiliar, to imagine that I may not be alone so that there is room for a dialogue for movement.”


The art in Postprint Magazine's first issue works to create a space that participates in and questions the notion of poetry and demonstrates how it can exist beyond the printed page.

'Saying their names' by Charles Shields

Erased text from 'Machinery and the American Standard of Living' (1939) and appropriated online content. Originally published in TL;DR magazine. By Julia Madsen

To learn more about the magazine, click here.

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