Peter Anderson is a Melbourne-based independent writer, cultural researcher and exhibition curator. He has published poetry, short fiction, essays, journalism and art criticism. He is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing at Swinburne University.

Pause poem

This work is situated within the field of current scholarly research into the relationship between poetry, art and performance, with particular reference to the poem as score.

‘Untitled (pause poem)’ is an experimental poetic work in three parts. The first of these is the poem itself, the second consists of two photographic images documenting the poem’s enactment while temporarily installed on the entrance door to the University of Queensland’s Main Library (in 1977), and the third is a semi-fictional exegetical text concerning the project within which the initial poem (or an earlier version of it) was originally embedded. The work as a whole concerns the relationship between the poetic text, the act of reading, and reflective exegesis, with reference to the documentation of performance based works. 

In re-presenting the original poem forty years after its first public presentation, this new three-part configuration also serves to insert what was an ephemeral performative public work produced in the tradition of DIY practice into the now highly regulated and managed field of public art.