VERFREUNDUNGSEFFEKT with special guest Frank Klötgen
Wednesday, 10 July, 6.00 pm

Join us at Ti Pi Tin on Wednesday, July 10 for the first special evening event curated by Lillian Wilkie.

Focusing on the Anglo-German arts journal Verfreundungseffekt edited by Jen Calleja, this evening will feature talks, projections and performances exploring cultural exchange between the UK and Germany, the German language in English translation and bilingual publishing in a broader sense. It will also celebrate the opening of submissions for the second volume of Verfreundungseffekt, due for release in Spring/Summer 2014.

Curator Olivia Reynolds will discuss her work with LoBe, a residency program based across London and Berlin. Using the residency format as a curatorial strategy, LoBe manages two project spaces with a strong focus on installation and site specific practice, as well as art communication. Olivia will demonstrate how dialogue between artists from different cities has produced exciting new art situations, and further discuss the challenges faced by cross-cultural and cross-language initiatives and the current state of cultural and artistic exchange between the UK and Germany.

Rebecca May Johnson will present her ongoing work on Barbara Köhler’s epic cycle of poetry Niemands Frau (2007). Niemands Frau is centrally an engagement with Homer’s Odyssey, although it incorporates a vast number of intertextual references and themes including Ovid’s Metamorphoses, T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland, Plato’s Republic, biographies of Alan Turing, the voice of Greta Garbo, quantum mechanics, computers and films. Rebecca will present Niemands Frau as an intervention in a tradition of translation; a ‘minor translation’ that represents a shift from an understanding of reality in which objective fact can exist and predictions made to an understanding which produces plural probability, and where finite, single truth is not possible.

Rebecca’s talk will be followed by a poetic response to themes in Niemands Frau, ideas around the “translator persona” and disintegration of the text written and read by Jen Calleja.

The evening will culminate with a very special, rare performance by multiple award-winning German poet Frank Klötgen, who will be travelling all the way from Berlin to perform on the night. His poems can be both hilarious and dark, and are remarkable for the energetic way the German language is made to dance through his writing and performance. Jen Calleja’s English translations of the poems will be projected during the performance.

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Verfreundungseffekt is a German-English language magazine exploring ‘Germanness’ and ‘The Angloamerican’ designed by Joe Hales and edited by Jen Calleja. The magazine views cultures as ‘mythologies’ created by the tourist or the emigrant from another nation. This perspective raises questions about the performance, idealisation and stereotyping of nationalities, as well as the possibility and problems of translation, alienation and cultural understanding. Verfreundungseffekt is a more ethnographic record of the modern-day emigres moving from the UK to Germany/Germany to the UK/America compared to the academic, analysed and generalised accounts of these countries’ history and culture.

Olivia Reynolds is the initiator of LoBe and lives in Berlin and London. As an artist she has exhibited throughout the UK, Scotland, Poland and Germany, and as a curator she was involved in ‘Out of Mind, Out of Sight’ at Kelvingrove, Glasgow and the group show ‘Hackgold’ at Space Gallery, London. She has recently been a judge in the U-Bahn Art poster competition in Berlin. Since 2009, she has run LoBe as a full time occupation.

Jen Calleja is a writer, poet, literary translator, reader and editor of Verfreundungseffekt. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in many independent publications and her first book translation Made On Earth by Wolfgang Korn is published by Bloomsbury. She has translated essays for PEN International and has written for Modern Poetry in Translation magazine and In Other Words, the journal of the British Centre for Literary Translation. She will soon become Acting Editor of the journal New Books in German.

Rebecca May Johnson is a writer and journalist. She has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, Monocle, Tank for Observer magazine and Salt magazine amongst others. She is currently completing a PhD on Contemporary German Poetry at UCL with a focus on the theoretical and poetic work of Barbara Köhler.

Frank Klötgen is a Berlin-based poet and novelist. He has won the Die Zeit newspaper’s Pegasus Prize for his work of hyperfiction Aaleskorte der Ölig, and has won and been runner-up of multiple national slam championships and competitions. In 2011 he was Writer in Residence of Innsbruck and this year was invited and supported by the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region to perform at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. He has published prose, novels and poetry and is permanently touring Germany and other parts of the world.

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We are grateful to the Goethe-Institut London for their support.