José Ramón Ripoll: poetry and memory

“During these days of literary hustle and bustle, I have asked myself if people are really still interested in poetry and its true substance,” wonders José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, 1952), who recently won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The poet went on to explain that his book, La lengua de los otros, “is an attempt at hearing in a vacuum, at listening to the echo of those words which emerge outside of the realms of space and time, a music that shapes us before we are born, before the possibility of existing is even possible.”

This trip has led him, as he himself explains, to “use different syntactic resources and a music that is not part of my usual discourse. The result is a stylistic consequence of everything I write, although, in this book, I believe I use a more naked language, perhaps because I delve deeper into that vacuum I was referring to before and I try to listen the echo of a primitive word which, paradoxically, emerges out of nowhere.”

Ripoll, who is a writer, a musicologist and a journalist, also directs, from the time it was founded, the poetry magazine RevistAtlántica. The experience he has gained has taught him that “each poem is different and shines in its own right, regardless of theme or style, generation or origin. And, from the outset, the LOEWE prize, inits two categories, has been showcasing just that,
allowing us to discover young and previously unknown poets, and recognising books of poems written by established Spanish or Latin-American authors.” Among the jury members, he identifies most with Caballero Bonald and has even said that his own voice depends upon Bonald’s. “As I read his latest pieces, each increasingly surprising, I am more convinced of this fact,” he declares.

Ripoll, who’s in love with language, sound and memory, reflects upon the present and says that “there is a tendency towards wanting to make language more uniform, towards stripping it of its natural beauty, its depth, its evocative and metaphoric capacity. This leads to a growing vulgarisation and ultimately results in the manipulation of thoughts, and therefore, of the individual. For this reason, when people show up at a poetry reading or show interest in a recently published book, hope shines through, and I begin to think that this prize is worth it and goes beyond satisfying the winner’s personal interests and aspirations.”

PIctures: José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017.

Winners LOEWE Craft Prize 2017

On April 10th, the winner of the first edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize was announced at COAM (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid). The piece ‘Tree of Life 2’ by Ernst Gamperl, born in Germany in 1965, was selected as the winning entry among 26 finalists evaluated by a distinguished jury composed of leading figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism and museum curatorship.

Ernst Gamperl, Tree of Life 2 (2016), Germany

Ernst Gamperl, Tree of Life 2 (2016), Germany

The Jury also agreed upon giving two special mentions.

One special mention to Yoshiaki Kojiro: ‘The jury recognised the exercise of research, embracing risk and innovation by mixing materials to achieve a shape that is ultimately a structure of experimentation.’

Yoshiaki Kojiro, Structural Blue (2015), Japan

Yoshiaki Kojiro, Structural Blue (2015), Japan

Another special mention to Artesanías Panikua. The statement from the jury explains: ‘The second special mention is for a piece capable of arousing feelings before one even begins to rationalise it. Apart from its emotional impact, the piece speaks of a collective cultural legacy, demonstrating that craftsmanship with artistic ambition should have no material limits; straw can be just as important as gold.’

Artesanias Panikua, TATA CURIATA (2016), Mexico

Artesanias Panikua, TATA CURIATA (2016), Mexico

All 26 finalists of the LOEWE Craft Prize are being featured in an exhibition held at the COAM in Madrid. Exhibition open from April 11 to May 9, 12:00 to 20:00. More information on loewecraftprize.com. Follow us on instagram @loewefoundation

Wisdom and Beauty at the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize Award Ceremony

The LOEWE FOUNDATION has, once again, been responsible for the gathering of a large number of representatives from the world of culture at the LOEWE Poetry Prize award ceremony and the presentation of the winning books, held in Madrid’s Palace Hotel. A party and a celebration where the excitement felt by the winners and the joy of celebrating yet another of the Prize’s editions were both palpable.

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“As our 30-year anniversary draws near,” said the Foundation’s Honorary President, Enrique Loewe, during the presentations, “I am reminded of the excitement and fear we felt when we first set upon this path. We believed we had a mission, that being in close contact with beauty was worthwhile and would benefit us all, but mostly LOEWE, because it would make us better and more important, although those we really wanted to make more important were the poets.” Joined by his daughter Sheila Loewe, the LOEWE FOUNDATION’S Director, who was in charge of delivering the welcome speech, Enrique Loewe remembered that his biggest hope and source of excitement came from thinking that “this Prize will have another 30 years of life”.

Sergio&CaballeroBonaldEl frío de vivir by Sergio García Zamora, winner of the LOEWE Young Poet’s Award, was presented by last year’s Poetry Prize winner –who is also Cuban- the Poet Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, who praised the young poet’s “particular view of the world” and “his command over poetry, in both prose and verse formats.” A poetry that the previous year’s winner described as “muscular, sometimes osseous”, a reflection of what is known as “generation 0”, precisely the one this young poet belongs to. A poet whom Rodríguez Núñez visited “in his humble home in Santa Clara” where he lives “with no internet access and with travel restrictions”, a testament to “his incredible drive and need for self-expression, which brings to the forefront the extraordinary resilience of the Cuban family.”

José Manuel Caballero Bonald presented the winner of the 29th LOEWE Poetry Prize: La lengua de los otros by José Ramón Ripoll. “An interiorised book of thoughts and reflections that revolve around being and existing,” said Caballero Bonald, and show Ripoll’s “luminous lucidity” as well as how “he gets to know himself better as he delves into his life experiences.” Caballero Bonald also highlighted the extraordinary “aesthetic significance of the silence” that Ripoll affords his poems. The Prize winner thanked his teacher’s “wise words”, which are like “the roots of poetry because they touch one’s substance.”

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A reading of the winning books of poems, which are now a part of the Colección Visor de Poesía, will take place this upcoming Monday, 27th March at Madrid’s Casa de América.

Pictures: Sergio García Zamora, Sheila Loewe and José Ramón Ripoll, Sergio García Zamora with José Manuel Caballero Bonald, and José Ramón Ripoll © Álvaro Tomé for LOEWE FOUNDATION, 2017

 

CASA LOEWE

CASA LOEWE, located in the heart of the Salamanca district in Madrid, is the largest and first flagship in Spain that follows the new store concept introduced by Jonathan Anderson and presents a selection of works from the LOEWE FOUNDATION Art Collection.

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“I was involved in all aspects down to small details, technical things and every material used”, says Anderson. “It’s a very important project to me, because It is about reconnecting with where LOEWE is from.” A serene backdrop of warm neutral materials, serve to offset original British antiques, an important selection of artworks, and LOEWE’s vast product offering.

SmithCASALOEWEAmong the art chosen by Anderson and acquired especially for the space are Works by Edmund de Waal, Richard Smith, Gloria García Lorca and perhaps most prominently, a wall-spanning handpainted aquatint print by Sir Howard Hodgkin on the theme of past present future.

“Everything we’ve been working on for the last couple of years comes together here. It’s not a culmination, because we are continually opening chapters, it’s where we are now and what the future will be”.

CASA LOEWE is located at the intersection of Goya and Serrano streets.

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Photographs: “As Time Goes By (Orange)”, unique sugar-lift aquatint with carborundum relief on five hand torn sheets of 35gsm Moulin du Gré paper, by Sir Howard Hodgkin (2009-2014). Courtesy of Howard Hodgkin and Alan Cristea Gallery and photographed by Peter White, London. “Both Halves (A)”, acrylic and oil on canvas (2parts) by Richard Smith (1977). Courtesy of Gazelli Art House and photographed by Peter Mallet. “Sonatas and Interludes”, porcelain vessels with gilding, plaster blocks in aluminium and plexiglass vitrines, by Edmund del Waal (2015).

Aprendanza 2016: Dance & Education

This past October, and for the third year in a row, Aprendanza has brought teachers, artists and social workers together: agile minds who believe in education and yearn to increasingly add more dance into their lives. The event was held at the facilities of Spain’s Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND), Matadero Madrid and the Ballet Nacional de España. José Carlos Martínez, Artistic Director of the CND, continues to be fully committed to the educational part of his artistic management responsibilities and thanks to the support of the LOEWE FOUNDATION, projects such as this one can become a reality.

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The CND’s artistic team welcomed more than 180 participants hailing from all over the country; among them, 65% were educators at primary schools, high schools or universities.

For three consecutive days, they took part in the many activities that had been organised including a number of workshops. They also got to enjoy a rehearsal of the Don Quijote ballet, which is repeating the successful run it enjoyed after last year’s premier at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela (performances until 18th December).

The CND dancers, Elisabet Biosca, Agnès López Río, Antonio de Rosa and Mattia Russo, together with the company’s Ballet Master, Anael Martín, also lead some of the #Aprendanza activities.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen –the organisers and hosting companies, the professionals leading the activities and all the participants of this latest #Aprendanza edition– the interest in this activity continues to grow, by incorporating dance into the lives of the younger generations and thus making their education much richer.

Photographs: #Aprendanza 2016 workshops at the CND © Paco Gómez, 2016.

 

LOEWE: Past Present Future

“LOEWE: Past Present Future” runs through 9 December 2016 at the Villanueva Pavillion, a former greenhouse at Madrid’s Real Jardín Botánico. Built in 1781, it is the most emblematic structure in the royal gardens located next to the famous Prado Museum.

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An innovative display system of large acrylic glass boxes shows one-of-a-kind pieces from LOEWE’s archives, exemplyfing the brand’s unión of advanced leather craft and pure functional design, while walls and floors are covered with images evoking the rich history and current momentum of the house, all taken from the new LOEWE book edited by Luis Venegas.

A second section is devoted to 13 color photographs of flower arrangements by Steven Meisel, indicative of the photographer’s special ongoing relationship with LOEWE. Inspired by the life and work of British pioneer Constance Spry –whose unconventional approach, quick mind and irrepressible spirit innovated international floral design in the 1930-50’s- the simultaneous simplicity and exuberance of these images represents the fresh dynamism of LOEWE today.

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To celebrate LOEWE’s reinforced presence in the city where it was born 170 years ago, this exhibition opens to the public, encouraging the people of Madrid to rediscover their brand and explore LOEWE’s ever evolving, multi-dimensional character. Among other unique gifts and souvenirs, the new 592-page LOEWE book –spanning the entire history of the house- and a special 2017 calendar with Steven Meisel’s “Flowers” series will be for sale at the exhibit shop.

“LOEWE: Past Present Future” runs through 9 December 2016 at the Real Jardín Botánico, 10h-17,30h.

Photographs: Flowers (August) by Steven Meisel and Past Present Future (2016).

José Ramón Ripoll and Sergio García Zamora, Winners of the 29th Edition of the LOEWE Poetry Prize

La lengua de los otros, written by author, musicologist and reporter José Ramón Ripoll (Cádiz, Spain, 1952) has won the 29th LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize. The jury, presided by Víctor García de la Concha and made up of members Francisco Brines, José Manuel Caballero Bonald, Antonio Colinas, Soledad Puértolas, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Ana Rossetti, Jaime Siles and Luis Antonio de Villena, highlighted the enigmatic relationship between the different sections of the book and its magnificent formal structure, as well as the excellence of its poems. Sergio García Zamora, born in 1986 in Santa Clara (Cuba), won the LOEWE Young Poets Prize for El frío de vivir, a book that shows the author’s knowledge of prose and verse poetry, by means of his most singular perception of the world.

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The LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize is awarded annually to a book of poems of at least 300 verses and the Young Poets Prize to an author under the age of 30. In addition to the cash prize, the winning books are published by Colección Visor de Poesía. Out of the 779 manuscripts sent from more than 31 countries, 27 finalists were chosen. A total of 23% of entries coming from America were mainly from Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, while Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville were at the top of the list of cities for Spanish entries.

On Tuesday 8th November, the Jury announced the winners. Following the welcome speech delivered by LOEWE FOUNDATION Director Sheila Loewe and the reading of the verdict by Víctor García de la Concha, the winner of last year’s prize, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, presented El frío de vivir. A book where, he argued, “themes are interwoven, appearing and disappearing, just like in our thoughts, just like in life itself.” He also highlighted the mastery García Zamora shows through the use of expressive resources and a poetry that is “autonomous but not uninvolved; participative but not political.”

Poet Jaime Siles referred to the book of poems La lengua de los otros as “an intense and profound book that is rather intimate for us readers of a certain age”. Ripoll himself, who was present when the verdict was announced, said his book “is painful but incredibly enjoyable,” and explained that “in part, it refers to the imposed language I must use in order to communicate with others. I play with that double meaning, which is then revealed at the end.” He also thanked the LOEWE FOUNDATION for supporting and sponsoring poetry because, in his words, “although people might not give it the importance it deserves, it is in fact of vital importance; it’s crucial in order to keep words alive because that’s how we fight against forgetting, against amnesia.”

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The award ceremony and official presentation of the books will take place in March 2017.

Photographs: José Ramón Ripoll and the Jury of the LOEWE FOUNDATION International Poetry Prize © Álvaro Tomé for the LOEWE FOUNDATION.