Yuu Seki. Serial Kitsch. ISBN-10: 1497562457
ISBN-13: 978-1497562455. HWORDE, 2014. 106 pp.$9.49
Serial Kitsch is an epic poem assembled from the testimony of a slew of serial killers, of so many translucent interiors taking on the colours and dimensions of many and of none. Though edits have been made, the words are all theirs. Though personal boundaries were frequently disregarded in the making of this work – presuming any were present at the start – the person-type remains intact. Type and the anonymity it affords is what remains. The acts and the products are “always the same” and “always different”: zeroed factory-people amassing other zeros like kitsch banknotes, each legitimate tender only for buying more of themselves.
“Like the best conceptual work, Serial Kitsch shows its innards, the way the work works. Like the best poetry, it guts itself for our aesthetic pleasure and contemplation. Like the best killers, it does all this using its words.” — Vanessa Place
“It is strangely and disconcertingly fitting that Serial Kitsch starts out with a quote from Andy Warhol because this is really a book about art. It is a disturbing book that enters into the tricky and troubling relationship between art and violence by taking on (and taking in) one of the most frightening, influential and ridiculous figures of the 20th century: the serial killer. The serial killer’s ‘kitsch’ – his letters, his corpses, his appearance (‘But he looked just like an average person!’) – does not so much ‘blur’ the line between fiction and reality, violence and art, as show an intimate bond between these, a bond we might call ‘media.’ Conceptual poetry has long bragged about ‘killing poetry’; here the actual poetry finally goes gothic. You may not want to read the results; it’s a disconcerting but lyrical book: ‘I spoke to him as if he were still alive / how beautiful he looked.’” – Johannes Göransson
“Yuu Seki’s brilliant and necessary poem Serial Kitsch follows in the grand tradition of Aron the Moor’s final words in — “I have done a thousand dreadful things / As willingly as one would kill a fly, / And nothing grieves me heartily indeed / But that I cannot do ten thousand more” — and plunges this sentiment into the era of YouTube, when the faces and words of Dahmer and Wuornos can be pulled up and organized like a playlist. Reading this book allows language to fulfill its ultimate purpose: to disperse the diseased miasma of the human soul, or what’s left of it, to the ends of the earth.” — David Peak
“The figure of the serial killer has always captured the attention of the public and in recent television and film the figure has been domesticated (Dexter) and celebrated (Hannibal) in equally disturbing ways. Yuu Seki allows the words of serial killers to speak here in this epic poem. What we see is not easily put into a comforting or entertaining narrative, but is unflinching in forcing us to confront human evil that goes far beyond individual crimes.” — Anthony Paul Smith
“I…am left suspended, silent, before…the flowers that Yuu Seki has plucked. In a field stripped of all reverential and religious potential the poet has somehow managed to harvest a sacred surplus (‘this almost holy feeling’), that would have so fascinated Bataille….Yuu Seki’s flowers tell of a ‘founding violence’ that is ‘this unsteady mix of an art in nature with an art of nature wherein violence becomes authority’ [Taussig].” — Edia Connole, “The Language of Flowers: Serial Kitsch”