Events > Reading

19 Apr. 2008

Mal Armé: reading and viewing with Paul Collins and Victor Coleman

Paul Collins
Victor Coleman
1 pm - 3 pm

Art Metropole is pleased to present Mal Armé (Letterdrop III), an afternoon of new collage and poetry, culled from Paul Collins’ and Victor Coleman’s forthcoming publication of the same name. Please join us on Saturday April 19, 2008, from 1-3 p.m. to meet Paul Collins.
Mal Armé (Letterdrop III) is a series of lipograms, in which Victor Coleman takes prose by Malarmé, removes all the words containing a specified letter, then composes a poem with the remaining words. From this random selection of words, Coleman has managed to produce a series of 26 sonnets, and other highly constructed poems, that are humorous and often profound.

During the writing of the poems, Coleman approached Paul Collins to produce visuals to accompany the poems. Using a 1960s French children’s encyclopedia called Tout l’Univers (The Whole Universe), as the image source, Collins extracted a word group from each poem, to produce 26 collages that attempt to resonate rather than to illustrate. The resulting surrealist relationship between the text and images owes more than a little to Greg Curnoe’s drawings for David McFadden’s The Great Canadian Sonnet.

On view at the launch are Collins’s 26 images (plus one cover image), each digitally printed on 308 gm. acid-free photo-rag paper. The images remain on view through Saturday April 26, 2008.

Paul Collins is a Canadian artist based in Paris. He studied Fine Arts at York University and at the New School of Art. Collins has exhibited his paintings and photographs at A Space, YYZ and Mercer Union. He worked at Coach House Press, contributed to Only Paper Today and co-founded Permanent Press on Mercer Street. His feature-length video, 24 Hour 3 Stooges, premiered in 2006 at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Collins’ photographs were exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of the exhibition, “Canadian Art in the 1960s & 1970s Through the Lens of The Coach House Press.” For some 14 years, he collaborated with Canadian artist, John Armstrong. They showed notably at Nuit Blanche Toronto, MoCCA Toronto, Oakville Galleries, 60 Painters, The Varley Art Gallery, Harbourfront Gallery and General Hardware Contemporary.

Since living in Paris, Collins has exhibited and performed at the Cartier Foundation, CREDAC, Le Musée des Beaux-arts de Mulhouse, L’Artothèque de Caen, La galerie Bernard Jordan, L’Impasse, La Générale, Treize and recently performed at The Palais de Tokyo as well as at the Paris Philharmonie as a member of the Glenn Branca Orchestra. He teaches painting, printmaking and experimental music at the Ecole Supérieure d’arts et médias, Caen/Cherbourg. Collins’ music can be heard at :

Collins’ work is represented in public and corporate collections such as: McMaster University Museum of Art, Hamilton ON, Fond National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, Canada House, London, Great Britain, Museum of Modern Art, Queensland, Australia, TD Art Collection, Toronto, BMO Art Collection, Toronto, Collection Ana D., Chateauroux, Artothèque du Limousin, Limoges, Artothèque de Caen, Artothèque de Belfort, Centre National de l’Estampe et de l’Art Imprimé, Chatou, Musée de la Fédération Française de Tennis, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Toronto Transit Commission.

Victor Coleman was born in Toronto. After a short stint working at Oxford University Press (a virtual apprenticeship in book design and the business of publishing), he jumped ship to become linotype operator for The Coach House Printing Co. and Coach House Press editor in chief (from 1966-1975). Before the unions made it impossible for practising writers with no degrees to do so, he taught CanLit and Creative Writing for the Toronto District School Board and at York and Queens Universities. He has received grants from the Canada Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council, and in 2001 was given the Harbourfront International Writers’ Festival Prize. In 1996, when the Coach House Press had been run into the ground by various committees, he and Stan Bevington started up Coach House Books, the world’s first simultaneous print and online publishing venture. His most recent books are Icon Tact and Mal Arme, both from BookThug, who will release his next one, The Occasional Troubadour, in the Fall.