This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

‘Montage’ mixes performance, exhibit

Published: November 9, 2009

UB will present Dennis Tedlock’s performance of “Verbal Montage: Transcriptions and Translations from Native American Languages” on Nov. 11 as part of the fall 2009 Poetics Plus series.

The performance, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Poetry Collection, 420 Capen Hall, North Campus, is free and open to the public.

Tedlock is a founding member of the UB Poetics Program, where he holds the James H. McNulty Chair. He also is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of English and research professor of anthropology.

Internationally renowned for his work as an anthropologist and linguist specializing in the field of ethnopoetics, Tedlock’s scholarship emphasizes deep knowledge of cultures beyond that which can be merely analyzed, transcribed or translated. In order to create one of his first works, “Popul Vuh,” a retranslation of the original 16th century Mayan text, Tedlock immersed himself in the culture he was studying. He learned the Quiche Maya language, working directly with Mayans and as an apprentice to a native spiritual leader.

In Tedlock’s performance, the audience will hear the sound of indigenous American languages, including Zuni (New Mexico), K’iche’ Maya (Guatemala) and Ch’ol (ancient Maya), as well as see experimental transcriptions of oral performances, images of ancient Mayan hieroglyphic texts and experimental translations of the hieroglyphs.

Graphic art on exhib as part of the performance will be for sale; all proceeds will benefit the Poetry Collection.

“Verbal Montage” also has been performed in the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco and in the City University of New York Graduate Center.