Gay Poets Whitman & Lorca Revived by Puppet Artist Bart Buch


Photo by Richard Termine

Puppet Artist Bart Buch has remounted his acclaimed meditation on gay American poet Walt Whitman and gay Spanish poet and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca at Intermedia Arts. He comments on the performance and the visual art exhibit connected with it

Bart Buch: “This remount of Ode to Walt Whitman and the Whitman Electric visual art exhibition are both reflecting on how queer people connect. At this time in history where apps, social media, and texting create exponential possibilities of connections, how real are these possibilities? How deep are these connections? How do we connect in real time and space? Are we able to find just the right group or individuals to identify with or are we being funneled into smaller factions of identity commodification? Ode to Walt Whitman and the Whitman Electric exhibition artists are interested in asking these questions. We are zooming out and in to look at and connect with the poetry of our ancestors and to look at how the queer communities are connecting in real time and space through groups like the Telling Queer History Project, the Transgender Oral History Project, R.A.R.E. Productions and more.”

“I have remade several of the main puppets and masks to reflect the development of where I am now as a puppet artist, since the original puppets were made 10–12 years ago. The musical language by Martin Dosh has deepened in incredibly nuanced ways. Martin and I have tuned the show’s music to the key of B flat, the key at which the universe vibrates.”

“When I asked Jane Henson, now deceased wife of Jim Henson, why she came to see the show twice in New York, she said, ‘This show is a really good poem and good poems need to be read more than once.’ I believe this about this show and good poems. In many ways, the show is similar. I am fine with slowly evolving relevant work over long periods of time.  The overall culture is pretty distracted by the shiny newness of everything. I’m more interested in preserving and evolving timeless messages, images, and feelings.”

Ode to Walt Whitman
Through Nov. 7
Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolise

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436
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