Big in Brazil!


The following article by Rio-born poet and writer extraordinaire Patricia Bárbara first appeared in Portuguese in the Brazilian contemporary arts weblog Supergiba. Patricia very kindly translated the text into English for me, and so without further ado …

South Korea – this was the second time David Prater came to South Korea, both of them supported by Asialink, an artistic residency program developed by University of Melbourne.

The first trip, in 2005, brought the impact of such a different and reserved culture, with all its obstacles and wonders. And we cannot even say that’s a shock between occident and the orient because David is Australian. And exactly because of this he combines two interesting information affected in its origin at the same time English and eastern.

A talented writer, he is both free of severity and sophisticated. Originally a poet, David believes to be a regular third millennium person, using his words, his thoughts and feelings as a way to insert himself into the contemporary context.

“There was a time”, he says, when writers had the mission of heralding the meaning of life; they had to come up with a conclusion and spread the word to everybody. Clearly that’s not what we live nowadays”. Sometime after, when talking about his book We Will Disappear, David contradicts himself – and he is the first one to notice, immediately – when he says that in the book maybe the most important are the poems about life and death, trying to bring meaning to things that make no sense. However, this so called contradiction is an imperative part of David’s talent and production. Born in 72, he was a teenager over the 80’s, and he brings with him all the doubts, the quest, the philosophical clashes that belong to the decade.

The poet Jill Jones said: “All along Prater pitches a dark destabilising line then subverts it with an explosion of pure lyric joy. Formally inventive whilst also dropping beats of pop media jargon and all the transitory idioms we live in, this is a new language for all tomorrow’s aching parties.”

David came to Korea once again for the exercise of difference. Decided to write a novel, to fly along, he remember a place different and complicated, where it would be demanding to write something different even if complicated, using the environment happenings as inspiration.

Five days ago David Prater returned to Amsterdam, where he lives. He left carrying with him the first draft of Steam, a novel. He left behind so many memories and a friendship solidly built. And when I asked what he thinks about how visual arts use the words in their work, he said: “look at this”.


  1. O hai – my work computer won’t let me look at your blog because it comes up as “pornography”
    So at home I shut the curtains to log on ’cause I haveta see what you’re getting up to in here. Scandinavian/Korean word orgy?
    Maybe it’s the “Scaramouche” reference?

    I love Patricia’s turn of [translated] phrase – and the things she says about your work ring true, I loved reading this, it’s got an underwater quality.

    The novel – In installments! Nice.
    I’m going to print and read.

    Stay happy and smart.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    yes, the warning sign is the bane of my life. We’ve been hacked a few times and sometimes the web browser remembers the last time it happened and pops up a little red warning. I can assure you the site is ‘clean’!!

    Glad you like the translation – and I’d be interested to hear what you think of ‘Steam’, if you ever get to the end of it!!


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