In the summer of 2010, poet Arthur Sze began visiting the studio of visual artist Susan York for a collaboration that would become “The Unfolding Center”. Using hundreds of layered pencil strokes, York created a series of graphite-on-paper drawings that explored the tension created between the rise and fall of a horizon of drawn graphite and the top edge of the paper.
In response to these drawings, Sze wrote a sequence of eleven poems exploring points of tension and incorporating York’s aesthetic practice. Sze employed three different voices within a sequence and created two distinct monologues where each speaker revises what is said (indicated by strike-through lines) in an unfolding process of discovery.
Sze and York separately drew lines through what they perceived to be the key point of tension in the poems. York then mapped the poems, calculating where the line would be in a drawing of the same proportion. Like her earlier works, she filled the lower portion of the paper up to the key point of tension and made a diptych documenting Sze’s and her individual responses to each poem.