ekphrasty

newspapers shouting
the toll of this endless greed:
our society

declares outrage while
encouraging consumption:
there’s always a price.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

NaPoWriMo time again! Day 22’s poem prompt was to write an ekphrastic poem: a poem inspired by/in response to/describing another piece of art. While I’m a big art fan, I didn’t have a particular artwork in mind (besides Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, but I thought maybe I’d get slightly outside my comfort zone!) so yesterday I Googled to find the “artwork of the day” – I thought for sure there’d be some sort of app or program that sends you a different piece of art every day, and I could respond to that particular day’s piece! Well, no dice :/ (Sidenote: if you know of anything like that, hit ya girl up – I’d sign up in a heartbeat.) So I Googled “Artwork of the Day 24 April” to try and get a result, and stumbled upon On Kawara, who had an exhibit named “April 24 1990”. I’d never heard of his work before, and I’m not much of a conceptual art buff, but while scrolling through the pretty minimalist examples of his work Google Images suggested, I came across this:

artwork by Rirkit Tiravanija on which the words "THE DAYS OF THIS SOCIETY IS NUMBERED" are stencilled across newspaper pages
Rirkrit Tiravanija’s piece “untitled (the days of this society is numbered)”

This is a piece by contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, called “untitled (the days of this society is numbered)”. I felt a little spark of inspiration, so I wrote these two verses of haiku in response to this piece. More about the exhibit it was part of (which also featured On Kawara, which I’m guessing is how Google linked the two) can be read here.

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