Graduate Lecture Series: Christof Scheele


Wednesday, April 5, 12:15 p.m.
Columbus Building, 280 S. Columbus Dr., room 317

Christof Scheele came to SAIC in 2015 as a lapsed poet. In 2013, having said what he had to say in poetry for the moment in the form of a full-length manuscript called Silver, Scheele gathered the canvases he had painted as a hobbyist over the years, hauled them to the picnic table in his backyard (along with a joint knife, brushes, tubs of leaking tubes of paint, a bottle of boiled linseed oil, and a propane torch) and got busy slathering, scraping, and burning his work (and his brushes) out in the wind and sun. In this act of transforming matter so directly, he began to envision a transformation of his own experience. He had opened a door in the house of words onto an exterior vastness in which language could be reified not just as speech or printed text, but in the full spectrum of phenomena: gesture as well as object; subject as well as thing; the idea and the image alike, in whatever measure. Art, which lives in language, yet can breathe outside it, seemed to offer an inclusive, limitless embrace, a way of being in which the concept can be transmuted into any material, and just as essentially, in which the physical can be atomized to thought. He stepped into that world, this world, immediately.