This was an exhibition in GSK contemporary in London. It wasn't just Burroughs. It was the following:
Sudden White. Dark Materials. Burroughs Live. Apocalyptic visions. All crying out 'No Future, No Future' in both surreal and uncanny manners. It was good in a "we're all doomed" way. I drag my sister along. I am using her house as a hotel (House ain't a motel) after all. It's all doom. She takes note. I explain how once upon a time it was all utopia. All robot slaves and floating cars. This is the antidote to that dream. The children of this vision (50/60's born?) grew bitter and raised their kids with no expectations for such a future. Instead. Today, their children are faced with nothing. Back to basics. Hand made do everything for your self and use as little energy as possible (I am not referring to manual labor) the opposite to the futurist dream. Cut down now else face nothing. Actually we already face nothing. We know that whether nature destroys us or whether man gets there first (why is man and nature always so separate? We are one and the same. We are not above it. It controls us, we cannot control it. Nature is God.) we are destined for destruction. So where as once upon a time you had futurism, now we have apocalyptic art. This unnerved her. It unnerves everyone. This is what the art is telling us. It is neither a warning nor a prediction. It is Fact. One day everything that is here will no longer be here (thus deeming everything pointless. Miller told us to live.)
It is reassuring hearing it from so many different voices. Calming in fact. Just think how little these words actually mean when there is no future. It used to make me sick. Now it liberates me.
William S. Burroughs. Everything is permitted because nothing is true...
A license to act out, to be exciting, to live. It was good to see images along side Burroughs work. I hadn't realised he was a painter too. It was all erratic. Words drew into abstracted strokes. Collaborations with artists and filmmakers, pushing the surreal, reflecting confusion, characters and chaos in his books. I watched him read. Dead pan. Funny real funny. My sister laughed too! I couldn't believe it! She laughed at Burroughs. In all the right places too!
A little out of place with the other two exhibitons (they were meant to combine to form something collective entitled Collision Course). The dystopian beginnings mixed with Burrough's humor, satire of the human condition. His apocolyptic view much different to the others. Burroughs knows that apocolypse mixed with humanity means that everything is possible (permitted because nothing is true). We are unpleasant. We are grotesque. We push things too far. He predicted the sale of organs. This is his point. We go too far. And it is funny, but it is terrifying. Everything is possible! We aquire, we think, we gain some kind of perverse purpose, or idea of purpose, when really we should be aiming for freedom. We all think that we are free. But we are not allowed to be truely free. Whether it is abiding be a set of rules created by government and enforced by police (brutality) or whether it is living by a set of rules, instilled, conditioned, a little voice inside of us. Call it morals. We are not ever truely free. There is always consequence. No one notices the difference. Of course we are free. All this insanity remains, it is allowed. It is permitted.
There was nothing on cut up. Nothing at all.
I first read Naked Lunch when I was living in Sheffield. I was alone most of the time. It was my only true friend for a few months (don't feel bad). It took me a year of putting down, picking up, reading, re reading, reading again. It was an experience sometimes grueling and difficult, mostly humorous, sick, dark. I had never read anything like that before, never. It was mind altering. I felt like I had been let in on a secret. I never had anyone to discuss this book with. I tried ringing Lou Reed but he wasn't interested in talking that day, he was running late for his Tai Chi lesson.
Everytime I walk down the street and I see a guant, lived in old man, with a hat and glasses, I say William Burroughs. No one knows what I mean.He isn't wearing glasses in this picture.