Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

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torsrthidesen
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Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:37 am

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/ ... dou-centre

Joy of all joy, I'll be in Paris when the exhibition runs. Can't wait.

BansheeYage
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by BansheeYage » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:06 am

Ya think that Brion Gysin was really a beat figure or just someone associated with the movement? I have The Process on my desk but haven't read it yet so I can't give a personal opinion on whether or not it is beat genre literature.
"I have a thousand faces and a thousand names. I am nobody I am everybody. I am me I am you. I am here there forward back in out. I stay everywhere I stay nowhere. I stay present I stay absent."

torsrthidesen
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:43 pm

BansheeYage wrote:Ya think that Brion Gysin was really a beat figure or just someone associated with the movement? I have The Process on my desk but haven't read it yet so I can't give a personal opinion on whether or not it is beat genre literature.
No, not really... His stuff wasn't "Beat". But i was never that heavy into Gysin. I do recommend the biography of him by John Geiger.

https://www.amazon.com/Nothing-True-Eve ... 74&sr=1-11

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:42 am

Having been there now, I highly recommend the Beat expo at Pompidou. Seeing the actual scroll rolled out across the rooms, seeing the entire "Pull My Daisy" at a big screen; the numerous videos of Allen Ginsberg and Burroughs trying to speak french and not to mention the various first editions of Corso and Orlovsky.

Some of the elements seems like filler, the various news reels and random elements from the 50s certainly set the mood I can't help feeling that with the influence of Pompidou, they could have fished out some more choice candid photographs and objet d'arts of the era. Perhaps more art, as I know there was plenty of art being made at the time.
I had seen most of the pictures already except the wall of Burroughs pics, which contain some rare snaps.

I was shocked to find that the Beats never really got much attention in France, but perhaps this will change that.

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:43 am

They also had a library you could peruse. Finally got to browse "The Secret Fascination", made me want to read it even more. Just hoping someone is selling it used to a fair price at amazon soon.

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David D
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by David D » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:19 am

Yes, a very nice exhibition indeed — I was there last Sunday myself.

I share your opinion on some things seeming a bit filler ... Particularly, I found the three pieces by (co-curator) Jean-Jacques Lebel a bit unwarranted ... Egos must be fed, I suppose. But certainly amid the (minor) controversy about certain people such as Claude Pélieu being left out of the exhibition (which was played out in some Facebook groups around the time of the exhibition's opening), I thought this rather painful.
Other items seemed to be a tad random or just sloppily researched ... drawings only shown as projections, using the Italian edition of the Re/Search issue on the cover reproductions wall, an Olympia Naked Lunch without a dust jacket, pieces of Burroughs shotgun art dated 1967 which I really think should be 1987 ...

But yes, overall, certainly worth a visit. The scroll, the Semina sets, ... there are a lot of pieces or presentations that really 'work'. As a whole it gives a nice overview, I think.

And Oliver Harris' Secret of Fascination can't be recommended enough, it is a truly brilliant piece of research and writing. There seems to be a nice hardcover on Abe at the moment, ex-library though, but reasonably priced (depending on shipping) ... http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookD ... ortby%3D17
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torsrthidesen
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:37 am

David D wrote:Yes, a very nice exhibition indeed — I was there last Sunday myself.

I share your opinion on some things seeming a bit filler ... Particularly, I found the three pieces by (co-curator) Jean-Jacques Lebel a bit unwarranted ... Egos must be fed, I suppose. But certainly amid the (minor) controversy about certain people such as Claude Pélieu being left out of the exhibition (which was played out in some Facebook groups around the time of the exhibition's opening), I thought this rather painful.
Other items seemed to be a tad random or just sloppily researched ... drawings only shown as projections, using the Italian edition of the Re/Search issue on the cover reproductions wall, an Olympia Naked Lunch without a dust jacket, pieces of Burroughs shotgun art dated 1967 which I really think should be 1987 ...

But yes, overall, certainly worth a visit. The scroll, the Semina sets, ... there are a lot of pieces or presentations that really 'work'. As a whole it gives a nice overview, I think.

And Oliver Harris' Secret of Fascination can't be recommended enough, it is a truly brilliant piece of research and writing. There seems to be a nice hardcover on Abe at the moment, ex-library though, but reasonably priced (depending on shipping) ... http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookD ... ortby%3D17

Thank you for that detailed review. Sadly I was visiting with my girlfriend and had to rush through portions as my partners expression of boredom became unbearable.

I'm not to proud to admit that I have no idea what you mean by "Semina sets". What is that?

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David D
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by David D » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:58 am

Well, wouldn't call it detailed exactly ... just some impressions.

On a side note, too bad your girl didn't like it — I'm glad to report my wife actually liked the exhibition despite not being all too familiar with any of the stuff (except for the Burroughs/Gysin stuff I tend to ramble on about every now and then), and now seems to have picked up a genuine interest in some of the featured figures ... Which is perhaps why I enjoyed the show: despite its obvious shortcomings, it adequately combines the 'feast of recognition' concept with a sort of entry-level openness ...

For Semina, start with this RealityStudio page by Jed Birmingham (which is where I learned about it as well): http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic- ... a-culture/
The exhibition featured a complete run of this fascinating mail art project, including this Burroughs piece:
IMG_45481.jpg
IMG_45481.jpg (234.7 KiB) Viewed 2861 times
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torsrthidesen
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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:17 pm

David D wrote:Well, wouldn't call it detailed exactly ... just some impressions.

On a side note, too bad your girl didn't like it — I'm glad to report my wife actually liked the exhibition despite not being all too familiar with any of the stuff (except for the Burroughs/Gysin stuff I tend to ramble on about every now and then), and now seems to have picked up a genuine interest in some of the featured figures ... Which is perhaps why I enjoyed the show: despite its obvious shortcomings, it adequately combines the 'feast of recognition' concept with a sort of entry-level openness ...

For Semina, start with this RealityStudio page by Jed Birmingham (which is where I learned about it as well): http://realitystudio.org/bibliographic- ... a-culture/
The exhibition featured a complete run of this fascinating mail art project, including this Burroughs piece:
IMG_45481.jpg
Thank you. I should have known that.

So you're a Gysin fanboy, eh? I never "got" Gysin, apart from the aforementioned lovely looking and interesting bio. Was he a "failure" or misunderstood? Like Ginsberg I like this life story more than his work (though I love some of Ginsberg stuff)

Did you check out the dream machine they had installed?

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by David D » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:11 am

Well, I wouldn't call myself a 'fan' — or fanboy for that matter — of anyone, to be honest. I tend to call myself a student of, in the first place, Burroughs. There's a difference, I think. E.g., I'm not inclined to post funny GIFs of Burroughs on Facebook, or comment stuff in the vein of 'Yeah, Uncle Bill!' ... no offence to those who do ... A student, out of a continuing fascination, and also, from there, a (minor) collector.
Gysin I find an intriguing figure, whom it took me a while to 'get', too, in fact. Not sure if I entirely do now, either, but the fascination for certain aspects of Burroughs' work cannot but bring with it at least a passing interest in Gysin, I think. And I find myself 'liking' more and more of his art.

To return to the topic: the dreamachine at the Pompidou was an example of a 'nice' presentation that was just that: nice, but inadequate as you couldn't approach the machine and the chair in front of it was just a prop that you couldn't go sit on. For a more effective 'sampling', if you're still in the area, go see the 'Eighties' exhibition in the MuHKA in Antwerp (http://www.muhka.be/en/toont/event/3311 ... N-TACHTIG/), where you can sit in front of an exceptionally beautiful dreamachine built back in the eighties by Belgian performance artist DDV, with Moroccan music through a pair of headphones ....
"Most people simply aren't human so far as I am concerned."

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:29 am

A purist, eh? I get what you mean. People wearing Che Guevera t-shirts etc. Though I would place myself in both camps, sans gif memes etc, as I both consider Burroughs a master and yet whom I would probably go hysterical if I were to see on the street (I mean when he was alive obviously).

That was the only real dream machine I've ever seen, and though I can't speak form experience, I can't imagine it really works in any capacity. Why not just hit yourself over the head with a mallet, that oughta produce dissociative "highs".

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by Jim Pennington » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:56 am

i loved the whole thing - there were a lot of very stimulating spaces .. not least of which was Giorno's Dial a Poet environment and the recreation of a Beat Hotel bedsit, complete with a dreammachine, brass bed and 'armoire' (this last item looking a bit too modern.. you'ld have thought it would not have taken much time to get hold of one that matched even vaguely the one in which Chapman used the mirror to photograph himself.... or for that matter a dreammachine that did as well) Amazing to see Gysin's woolly with the glyphs on the back ..last seen walking in-and-out of No 9 Git-le-c .... in surprisingly good nick, too, unlike the mottley collection of Kerouac clothes that still show the dust and travel of a thousand hitch-hiked miles. I thought that taking up valuable vitrine space displaying what a writer wore instead of what he thought was a bit tawdry but I suppose relics of Kerouac do deserve a space to remind us what a dumb/shouty Catholic he became. Saint Jack's toenails ... where are they? I want one.
I went especially to see the scroll just so I could check out if there was a full stop at the end ... anyone else with such a niggling obsession (i want to find a print edition without one) can save themselves the trip because we'll never know: the end is a ragged mouse-mauled, dog-chewed tatter.
This disappointment was more than made up for by the films and loads of other stuff - . and a big fat catalogue not too overpriced.
A couple of (minor?) mistakes were 1) no mimeo in the 'machines that produced the work' section which included an unlikely record cutter and no portable typewriters and 2) a Stanley knife with no blade (and showing Made in USA instead of the Stanley branding) .. as well as some inexplicably inaccurate translations into French of Ginsberg's captions to his photos.
A lovely touch at the end by the Exit ...you are being driven out, intentionally or not, by the screechy soundtrack to Cut-Ups on loop repeat ...
The whole shebang moves to Karlsrhue in November so there is a chance to see it there. I wish some institution would bring it to London - a place that the exhibtion manages to make you think does not exist in Beat hagiography.

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:31 pm

Jim Pennington wrote:i loved the whole thing - there were a lot of very stimulating spaces .. not least of which was Giorno's Dial a Poet environment and the recreation of a Beat Hotel bedsit, complete with a dreammachine, brass bed and 'armoire' (this last item looking a bit too modern.. you'ld have thought it would not have taken much time to get hold of one that matched even vaguely the one in which Chapman used the mirror to photograph himself.... or for that matter a dreammachine that did as well) Amazing to see Gysin's woolly with the glyphs on the back ..last seen walking in-and-out of No 9 Git-le-c .... in surprisingly good nick, too, unlike the mottley collection of Kerouac clothes that still show the dust and travel of a thousand hitch-hiked miles. I thought that taking up valuable vitrine space displaying what a writer wore instead of what he thought was a bit tawdry but I suppose relics of Kerouac do deserve a space to remind us what a dumb/shouty Catholic he became. Saint Jack's toenails ... where are they? I want one.
I went especially to see the scroll just so I could check out if there was a full stop at the end ... anyone else with such a niggling obsession (i want to find a print edition without one) can save themselves the trip because we'll never know: the end is a ragged mouse-mauled, dog-chewed tatter.
This disappointment was more than made up for by the films and loads of other stuff - . and a big fat catalogue not too overpriced.
A couple of (minor?) mistakes were 1) no mimeo in the 'machines that produced the work' section which included an unlikely record cutter and no portable typewriters and 2) a Stanley knife with no blade (and showing Made in USA instead of the Stanley branding) .. as well as some inexplicably inaccurate translations into French of Ginsberg's captions to his photos.
A lovely touch at the end by the Exit ...you are being driven out, intentionally or not, by the screechy soundtrack to Cut-Ups on loop repeat ...
The whole shebang moves to Karlsrhue in November so there is a chance to see it there. I wish some institution would bring it to London - a place that the exhibtion manages to make you think does not exist in Beat hagiography.
For some reason the vitrine with Kerouac's clothers sort of threw me too. Not sure why. Though I would have gotten some brief cheap thrill of holdning the clothes in my hands, seeing them in a cabinet was sort of non-sequitur.
For me the lasting impression will remain the videos seen on big screen. And the first editions and rarities. Otherwise it was somewhat of a dud (though I'm sort of being a jerk as I have no real suggestion as to how make it better.)

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by sal p. » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:16 pm

I've been living in Liverpool for a few months now, I have the chance to go to Paris next week so I'll definitely be seeing the exhibit. For those who have seen it, do they have any of Bills guns on display?

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Re: Beat exhibit at Centre Pompidou

Post by torsrthidesen » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:46 am

sal p. wrote:I've been living in Liverpool for a few months now, I have the chance to go to Paris next week so I'll definitely be seeing the exhibit. For those who have seen it, do they have any of Bills guns on display?
Not that I recall, but my memory has a tendency to play tricks...

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