Tate Residency

Tate poet in residence 2012

As inspiration comes from the same source it means poet and artist have often sat well together and there is rich common ground: Rodin had his muse Rilke, Frank o Hara the fabulous New York poet, who died very young- was honoured by the New York school each illustrating one of his poems in the publication; ‘In Memory of My Feelings.’

At Tate Modern Pele wished to be a commentator and artist- for this she attended curatorial meetings participated educational functions interviewed artists and met with trustees. She worked inside the Tate as a member of staff, but also held on to the eye of the visitor. The curator of the LB show, Frances Morris sent Pele to New York to interview Bourgeois and respond in Prose and poetry. 


Interview with Pele Cox and Louise Bourgeois


Pele:      In relation to this do you think poetry can/should ever occupy the mainstream cultural environment in the way that art does?
Louise:  Very few people can make art.  It is a gift.  It is a rare language that few understand.      

Pele:     How important is it do you think for artists and poets to know each other interact with each other?
Could there ever be a time again when we all 'live together' and share our artistic visions? You must have known many of these kinds of environments- did you know poets and writers- what are your fond memories of them - would you share them with me for the interview?
Louise:  We all have our unique histories, our own stories to tell yet, we are all responding to the same moment in time.  So, in spite of the various forms of expression, there are intersections.     

Pele:       There were some beautiful lyrical passages in your catalogue. Do they arise in you before or after the work? What is their function for you in the face of the visual?
Louise:   I write not to forget, and I write to be accurate.  I write only for myself.  Sometimes I write on the back of the drawings.  I usually write after I’ve created something.  It may be an association, or it may be an explanation or an apology.  Yet my images need no words from me or anybody else. 

Pele:      Who is your favorite poet? Does their poetry reflect in your art? What does their language do to you how does it affect you?
Louise:  Rabelais. 

Pele:      Are art and language foreign languages to each other?
Louise:  No.  Visual artists and poets deal with the same emotions.    

Pele:      In your wonderful sculpture 'cell' called CELL (CHOISY), how does 'Vieux Aux Tapisseries' function in the piece is it language or object to you - does it play a similar role to the guillotine!
Louise:  It is the actual sign that hung outside my father’s gallery in Paris.  It has both a sentimental value and a symbolic value. 

Pele:    To me you are the most poetic artist- it has been a joy writing poetry about your art! I think your work is poetic because of how you assemble disparate objects to make a whole as if they were words coming together to form sublime sentences- could this be an aspect of your work to make the word the image? 
Louise:  It is not a connection between word and image that I am seeking but rather an emotion and a tangible form. 

For more information/material on this residency contact pelecox@aol.com