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Book laying open to picture of sunset.

Hidden Poems: Look!


In a most poetic, daring way, Natalie Czech shows us the unimaginable hideouts where poetry remains unseen.

Hidden Poems is part of Natalie Czech’s exposition, I have nothing to say. Only to show, recently shown in Berlin. In this series, the artist creates poems out of old magazine articles, scraps of newspaper, or illustrated books. Her method highlights some individual letters and words that, read all at once, reveal a hidden poem. Some of the authors of the disclosed (or decoded) poems are Jack Kerouac, E.E. Cummings and Rolf Dieter Brinkmann.

Czech plays with the relationship between text and image, shifting the original text’s meaning by using original lyric anagrams. For example, in “A hidden poem by E.E. Cumming #2,” the revealed poem is displayed on an old, partly sun bleached newspaper, and the highlighted words come from cut-up magazine images of sunsets. The original poem takes on new meanings with this juxtaposition of image and text. Czech’s work deconstructs the idea of originality, delicately showing us that all artwork is a remix.

It’s as if Czech were unveiling the meaning of a secret code. She invites us to remember that poetry is everywhere—in the old and in the new. We only have to find where it’s hiding.

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