All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice: the first time as farce, the second as prop-based improvisation. In Ollie Evans’s Portraits, the middle is squeezed to an infra-thin polygonal film, but never quite excluded. If the Zukofskys’ homophonic translations sought to breathe Catullus’s “literal” meaning along with him, in the case of these “missed translations” it’s literals all the way down. The poems and stories perform a kind of Neo-Benshi or Bad Lip Reading of originals we don’t directly get to see, and the result is something like prophecy. In a world where welfare already is history, Portraits of the Middleincomeis both the hilarious and inevitable re-making of our very worst mistakes, and a glimpse of their vulturous aftermath, “naked and voting in an invisible noose”.
– Peter Manson