Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners is the first solo presentation in the UK of the work of Mexican artist, writer and publisher, Ulises Carrión (1941-1989), curated by the first year MA Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with Martha Hellion. Comprising an exhibition, series of events and publication, the project will invoke the spirit of Carrión’s practice through the activation of his provocative propositions and methodologies.
Incorporating concrete and visual poetry, mail art, videos, sound works and ‘bookworks’, Carrión’s diverse practice focused on language as a raw material and the exploration of alternative forms of distribution and communication. Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners, the video work from which the exhibition takes its title, is built around marginal patterns of everyday information exchange, or gossip.
Carrión’s practice emerged from literary and concrete poetry circles in Mexico before he moved to Europe in the mid-1960s, at which point his work also became associated with Fluxus. He promoted a transnational dialogue with his mail art projects and initiatives such as Other Books and So, active as a bookshop in Amsterdam (1975-1978) and subsequently as an archive. Apart from hosting exhibitions, performances and the making and publishing of artists’ books, the shop also functioned as an informal meeting point for artists and publishers.
Informed by the structure of Other Books and So, The Showroom’s exhibition space will double as a flexible platform for performances, seminars, talks, screenings, and a display of the different elements of Carrión’s practice alongside rare archival material. This material will be presented in a modular display system conceived by Fay Nicolson and Oliver Smith, which takes its inspiration from the cardboard vitrines designed by Martha Hellion for the Fluxshoe exhibition that toured the UK in the early 1970s. The display structure will also house a range of contemporary artist books that continue in the spirit of the ‘bookwork’, as well as re-editioned versions of Carrión’s own ‘bookworks’ and contextual material on his practice.
An accompanying publication designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio will provide documentation of the exhibition project and events programme, together with newly commissioned texts setting Carrión’s work in context. This will be launched on Friday 2 July 2010 at KALEID Editions.
45 Revolutions per Minute Wednesday 23 June 2010
7 – 9 pm
Guy Schraenen, a curator and publisher who collaborated with Carrión to produce his sound works, will discuss Carrión’s performances and sound works. This will be accompanied by a screening of The Death of the Art Dealer, the documentation of the performance The Robbery of the Year and a presentation of the sound works Hamlet for 2 Voices and 45 Revoluciones por minuto.
Lilia Prado Festival
Saturday 26 June 2010
6 – 9 pm
In 1984, De Appel Arts Centre hosted Ulises Carrión’s four-day event, Lilia Prado Superstar Film Festival, a screening of five films starring the Mexican actress, to which she was also invited. Prado was little known in the Netherlands at the time and this event was Carrión’s attempt to situate his past culture in that of his present. Ulises Carrión’s retelling of the event, The LPS File, will be screened alongside Luis Buñuel’s Subida al cielo, and tequila cocktails.
Publication Launch at KALEID Editions
Friday 2 July 2010
6 – 9 pm
KALEID Editions will host the launch of the accompanying publication designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio.
KALEID Editions, 23 – 25 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DJ