Simonides exhibition

Published: 12 April 2012

Staff are invited to the opening reception of this exhibition of photography and text

Staff are cordially invited to the opening reception of this exhibition on Friday 20th April 2012 at 3pm with refreshments. Simonides, with photographs by Norman McBeath and texts by Robert Crawford will take place in the Gallery, level 5 of the St Andrews Building.

Two and a half thousand years ago the Greek poet Simonides wrote epitaphs for western soldiers killed in conflicts that involved the territories of modern Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. The greatest poems of Simonides are body bags; zipped inside them are the remains of human lives.

This exhibition juxtaposes new versions of texts by Simonides with the timelessness of black-and-white photography. Using the Scots tongue, poet Robert Crawford takes the language of Simonides away from generals and politicians, bringing it closer to the speech of vernacular Scots. This also raises questions about dead or dying languages, as well as about what language is fitting for remembering the dead. Norman McBeath’s black-and-whitephotographs are meticulous in their combination of timelessness and contemporaneity. They show not battlefront carnage, but quieter images thatresonate alongside the poems to communicate a profound meditation on death,losses, and remembrance.

Simonides was recently shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and will be shown at Yale in September.  The exhibition is open from 17th – 29th April, 2012, Mon-Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm.

First published: 12 April 2012

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