Warren Lehrer

September 2017. 1001 Voices: An Anthem for a New America
Installation of a new panoramic window installation of visual poetry at CUNY School of Law, LIC, NY.
A presentation of The Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice.

The poem—written by Judith Sloan, visualized by Warren Lehrer for street-level windows at 2 Court Square—portrays a message of welcome and inclusion as it celebrates the Law School’s mission: “law in the service of human needs.” This installation is part of The Sorensen Center’s Justice Through Art Initiative, a collaboration between CUNY Law’s community and artists in order to bring new perspectives and depth to social justice issues and legal challenges. At a time when “Sanctuary Cities” like New York are under attack for their efforts to protect immigrants and asylum seekers, this public work—located across from the Court Square subway station on a bustling street in the most diverse county in America—sheds the light of poetry and art on a national crisis that is dividing the country and calling into question the meaning of the “American Dream.”

Lehrer’s panoramic design sets discrete phrases within the poem into their own panels—through typography, photography, color, shape, metaphor. Lehrer describes, “I want viewers to experience the wordscapes as a field and as single panels in whatever direction they/you/we may be heading.” Each of the 17, six-and-a-half foot wide panels float within a street level window. The panels are double-sided, enabling viewers to interact with the poem inside and outside of the building.

On view now. Come visit the window installation at 2 Court Square, LIC, NY 11101. Across from the Citibank building at the Courthouse Square subway: M, E, G, 7 train.
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Warren Lehrer and Dennis J. Bernstein completed the manuscript of The Bullet That Pierced His Son’s Skull. The collection of 254 visual poems—written by Bernstein, composed for the page by Lehrer—is divided into eight thematic movements: Lake Childhood; Tracings; Subtractions and Addictions; Front Lines; Dream Central; On the Streets, Under Lock’N Key; He and She; Growing Down.

As is the case with his muckraking journalism, Dennis Bernstein’s poems come from the struggle of every day people to survive in the face of war, human rights violations, poverty, and the daily humilations and graces of family and work, or the lack thereof. For The Bullet That Pierced His Son’s Skull, Lehrer went through thousands of short poems written by Bernstein over the past four decades, selecting the ones he was most interested in working with. Once chosen, he let each poem lead him to a [typographic] composition. Together, the writing and visual composition form a new whole, the result of many back and forths between the longtime collaborators. Two years in the making, The Bullet speaks to the madness, vulnerability, aspiration and language of our time. The completed manuscript is now ‘being shopped.’ Publisher and pub date To Be Announced.
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Wednesday Oct 24, 2017, 5pm, Warren Lehrer performance/lecture of A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading based on his illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Warren presents an overview of his protagonist’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.

A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s controversial author protagonist who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading, Lehrer presents an overview of Mobley’s life in books via many of his book covers, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of book excerpts.

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Saturday December 16, 2017, 8pm, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Colden Auditorium, Live performance of 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America. James John conducting the Queens College Choir and Choral Society with a 30 piece orchestra. Stay tuned for more information.

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