Liliane Lijn met William S. Burroughs at the now legendary Beat Hotel when they were each exhibiting in Paris in the early 1960s, while author Tony White encountered Burroughs’ work as a teenage art student in the early 1980s. These encounters are still being traced and articulated in each of their works. From collaboration to ‘control’, conversation will range from Lijn’s first meeting with Burroughs that led to her kinetic sculpture Way Out Is Way In Poemdrum (2009) — which is being exhibited for the first time in London at the October Gallery as part of William S. Burroughs: Can You All Hear Me? — to White’s use of the Burroughsian satirical routine in his rare, cult police novel CHARLIEUNCLENORFOLKTANGO (1999).
Readings will include an excerpt from Lijn’s epic feminist prose poem Crossing Map and ‘Electron Notes’ her cut-up statement written in 1964 and published in Signals that year, and ‘A Porky Prime Cut’, White’s tracing of impacts of the first UK TV broadcast in 1983 of Howard Brookner’s seminal documentary Burroughs: The Movie, in his story about Throbbing Gristle fans, Bournemouth soul boys and the birth of acid house. ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ will be performed with a specially composed musical accompaniment by UK acid house pioneer and former Psychic TV collaborator Richard Norris.
‘Minutes To Go and Years Apart’ promises to be both inspirational and provocative; a rare opportunity to spend some time in the informal company of two generous and fascinating artists.
‘White is our nimblest political novelist … [he] finds new juice in the underground rivers of radical art streams and writing that continue to roll out like a sacred river’ 3am Magazine
‘Having seemingly more in common with the cut-and-paste poetics of her American contemporaries John Ashbery and William Burroughs than any of the considerably less literate artists of her time, she has called some works “poem machines.” The stuff of primal vibrations, they appear to attempt some kind of magnetic influence or irresistible magic.’ The Guardian