artwork > juan was here

karen schoellkopf
2008
langenscheidt spanish - english dictionary (1988) owned by juan garcía (1993), colored paper, glue, poem XX “tonight i can write”, from pablo
neruda’s "twenty love poems and one song of despair"

this piece was commissioned by the brooklyn arts council.

my jumping off point was the 20th poem from pablo neruda's "twenty love poems and one song of despair".  he wrote them when he was 19.  the english translation of his poems always run alongside the original spanish (most often by the most trusted translator of neruda, w. s. merwin).  i have then run the english and the spanish through online english/spanish translator programs, back and forth on a continuous loop, and have printed out the original with all of the mistranslations. they are nestled in a spanish - english dictionary.