Despite what you might think, the title of this post is not referring to my poems. It is true that people still argue from time to time about the ‘legitimacy’ of prose poems, collage poems and poems that contain ‘found material’ – which accounts for about 99% of my work. Not what this is about. It is also true that I find the idea of illegitimacy quite interesting and provocative, however that is still not what this post is about.
It is in fact the title of a group exhibition put together to celebrate the opening of Oxford’s new Mathematical Institute. I have so enjoyed being part of such an interesting project and working alongside some brilliant poets and artists. The poets are: Agnes Davis, April Pierce, Claire Trévien, Daisy Johnson, Dan Holloway, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sam Guglani (and me). The artists:
Click on the above. Pretty legit.
But here’s the illegitimacy. Me. Maths. Big faker. But read the quotation below and it seems I fit right in……
Illegitimate Objects is a group exhibition for which artists and poets have made work in response to the Mathematical Institute’s collection of models of geometric surfaces. Made in the nineteenth century, and most likely purchased by JJ Sylvester, these models have a timeless appeal to mathematicians and artists alike.
The models were not ‘evidence’ in any sense of the term. They were boundary objects, good for trading meanings and for showing figures but illegitimate as objects of pure mathematics….’ (from Mathematical Models by Herbert Mehrtens, in Models, The Third Dimension of Science. eds Soraya de Chadarevian, Nick Hopwood, Stanford University Press 2004).
Do drop in. I dare you.