The Street Poets show of found objects takes viewers inside some strange minds.
KENNETH GOLDSMITH at Mercer Union (1286 Bloor West), to February 14. 416-536-1519. Rating: NNNN
UbuWeb, the massive online archive of all things avant-garde founded by Kenneth Goldsmith, is the source of his new installation of poetry and found documents.
His approach in past works has been to act as a dispassionate filter for a section of bandwidth from any given area of public electronic or cultural discourse, such as his American trilogy The Weather, Traffic and Sports.
In Street Poets And Visionaries, readers can browse and take themselves on their own strange individual journeys into the minds of scrawlers, pamphleteers, fringe conspiracy theorists, protesting lunatics and some of the most inventively bizarre humour you are ever likely to find.
The collection of found flyers, posters and ads on the west wall strains credulity. One flyer, written in plaintive Oriental pidgin, pleads for the return of a dog's head. In another, a New York newcomer cheerfully announces that he intends to have sex with as many people as possible.
Then there are the tiny gems, such as index card Ad, which offers to trade four home-cooked meals and 15 ironed shirts for taped copies of Faces Of Death and the 3 Stooges. Yup.
The east wall is devoted to the shape poems of artist/poet David Daniels, who wrote poems in rainbow Macintosh font in the shape of trees, stars, machine guns and animals, to name a few. His tightly arranged visual and verbal constructions lend a serene balance to the unfiltered lunacy on the far wall. Yet close examination of these poems shows that language is being chewed and stretched to its outermost limits.
If you're an aficionado of the detritus that gets caught in the drains of the urban collective zeitgeist, this show provides fodder for astonishment, puzzlement, hilarity and sheer head-shaking wonder.