“Penelope Rosemont once said, “in a sense, all outsider art is surrealist art…” And this was the singular inspiration for this collection. Here, Surrealists are teamed with stalwarts of Fluxus, renegades that have no compass, as well as Outsiders who have rejected the false map of convention. “Be capable of the marvelous” was our call. “Write what you know is there, not merely what is obvious.” We wanted a return to those roots of Surrealism that were in the written word, its first manifestation. The page inhabited. There was no theme. There was only proof that, in spite of what some academics have said, Surrealism is not dead. Nor does a person have to be physically dead to be an “Outsider.”
It is our hope that we may produce a collection like this every year for as many years as we can. Not to rehash older, foundational works of Surrealism but to continue to provide a platform for the new material. Material that has never stopped being created even after the learned obituaries were falsely finalized. The latest manifestos as well as the continuing parade.”
June 7-10, 2018
Chicago Surrealism from Object to Activism
Exhibitions, Film, History, Theory,
Manifestoes, Theater, Poetry, & Music …
at Various Locations in Chicago
Why Now? Why Not?
Celebrating the 1968
Chicago Surrealist Protest
Show at 50 years!
Thursday, June7, 2018
Cochrane-Woods Art Center at 5540 S. Greenwood Avenue
Introduced and organized by Janine Mileaf (Arts Club of Chicago) and Jennifer Cohen (University of Chicago)
- Michael Richardson (International Encyclopedia of Surrealism);
- Kristoffer Nohenden (Surrealism, Cinema and the Search for a New Myth); Abigail Susik (Radical Dreams: Surrealism and Counter Culture);
- Michael Stone-Richards (The Wreck of Art: Studies in the Thought of Guy Debord)
- Moderated by Jennifer Wild (University of Chicago)
1pm: Tour of Smart Gallery
Bill Brown (University of Chicago), Ali Gass (Smart Gallery),
Christine Mehring (University Of Chicago)
3pm: Roundtable ( From the folks who brought you “Make Love, Not War!”)
Cochrane-Woods Art Center at 5540 S. Greenwood Avenue
- Penelope Rosemont (Surrealist Women: An International Anthology)
- Ron Sakolsky (Surrealist Subversions: Rants, Writings & Images by the Surrealist Movement in the United States)
- Myrna Bell Rochester (René Crevel: le Pays des miroirs absolus)
- Winston Smith (All Riot on the Western Front)
- V. Vale (Pranks! Re/Search)
- Moderated by Rebecca Zorach (The Passionate Triangle)
Friday, June 8
6pm: The Arts Club of Chicago at 201 East Ontario Street
Surrealist Salon: Mad poetry by Ron Sakolsky & Penelope Rosemont & Extraordinary Improv by the Neo-Futurists
Saturday, June 9
6pm: The Study Chicago at 1837 West Fulton Street
Film: Marian Wallace, V. Vale, Tom Palazzolo
Music: Andy Alper, U Can Unlearn Guitar Band
Steve Smith & End Result Band
With the Participation or works of
Paul Garon, Beth Garon, Dennis Cunningham, Gale Ahrens, Franklin Rosemont, Rikki, Tamara Smith, Joel Williams, Ruti, Robert Green, Schlecter Duvall, Winston Smith, Joseph Jablonski & many more.
University of Chicago | Arts Club of Chicago | The Smart Gallery
The Study Chicago on Fulton
Revolutionary Imagination: Chicago Surrealism from Object to Activism is part of Art Design Chicago, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art exploring Chicago’s art and design legacy, with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
Fresh Dirt, the deep South’s newest artistic collective researching practicing Surrealism in the 21st Century, will host an exhibition & creative soire’ in May! The collective is an offspring of previous incarnations, it’s member’s having originated activities as early as 1974 in Tuscaloosa, infamously known as Raudelunas, out of which birthed the first Birmingham group, Glass Veal and free improvisation pioneers of TransMuseq.
As the artists groups continued, the group has reorganized in 2017 as Fresh Dirt and is actively pursuing to connect artists who are practicing surrealist methods, conceptual theories, and influences in the 21st century. Fresh Dirt is drawing together from the core group to artists in neighboring communities the first Alabama Surrealist Sympatica, an Exhibition and Creative Soire‘ to be hosted by Art Town at Eastlake Station.
Along with the visual exhibition of artworks, there will be Surrealist inspired performances by the South’s most potent improvisers in multi-disciplinary exploration involving dance, music, butoh, poetry, and community collective art projects in writing and drawing, and mixed-media.
Artists are coming from as far as Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia to collaborate and participate in the Fresh Dirt event. Many local artists are involved and participating in the Soire.’ The Alabama Surrealist Sympatica, an Exhibition and Creative Soire‘ will be attended by art historian, Steven Harris, University of Alberta, Canada who is writing a comprehensive history documenting Surrealism in the South (Alabama). The public is invited to experience Fresh Dirt, and participate in a Salon style evening of living art, imagination, discourse, and practicing methods of Surrealist Inquiry.
The reception will feature inedible food.
It’s worth announcing two new French books for 2018 (and that will shortly be available in Québec):
To start, the first ever reprint of surrealist poet Pierre Peuchmaurd’s Plus Vivants Que Jamais, (with an introduction by Joël Gayraud) published when he was 20 years old shortly after May ’68:
“Just between two cobblestones passed from one hand to another, amid the swirling of our sweat, we come to understand that what we are doing is serious, that this night is unparalleled, that we have not really lived until now, that we hold the dream between our fingers: it is cubic and gray, it is red and black, it has the necessary weight, it is reality. And it is true, this night, that we have remade the Commune. It’s to the commune that all of our thoughts turn.”
And we should of course mention the new book of aphorisms from Joël Gayraud himself, La Paupière auriculaire:
“Harassed by the noise and cacophony of the media, contemporary man is threatened with mental and emotional deafness. He has the greatest need to interpose a protective eyelid between his ear and the deluge of information that assails him. Only then can he filter what makes sense and deserves to be considered. Practicing this selective listening, the author questions, in the form of fragments ranging from aphorism to small essay, all that, one day at a time, solicits his vigilance or his reverie: among other topics addressed are the meaning of the myth, utopian projection, the passion of love, our relationship to animals and nature, the status of the object, language and the book, artistic expression, from Corot to Street art, from Kafka to Rimbaud , not without some philological and philosophical excursus on the side of Spinoza, Leopardi and Levinas. An ironic and critical drift that targets the increasingly numerous impostures on the market and exalts the opportunities for wonder that unfold in the interstices of a life led under the sign of poetry.”
Joël will be presenting both books on May 5th at the André Breton house in Saint-Cirq La Popie.
What does a sex act involving no living organisms look like?
CC: The androgynous Chaos locked in eternal masturbation.
JA: A richter scale in action during a seismic event
CW: No one can see sex between the dead without spectral vision goggles and I’ve temporarily misplaced mine somewhere between Sierra Leone and the Atlantic coast of the U.S. It is rumored that the dead can still get pregnant and have babies during the full moon.
SK: Condensation on the lens of a telescope.
How does a jewel make love to a sponge?
CC: Clumsily and unsatisfactorily as the sponge is not impressed by hardness.
JA: By dissolving itself into soap
DC: As they please. Jewel crushes sponge, sponge smothers jewel.
CW: The jewel turns itself into liquid and falls upon the sponge to get it all hot and bothered and wet. However long it takes for the sponge to dry out is how long the love making lasts. The jewel returns to its proper shape not long after.
SK: A facet of its face clouds over from beneath.
What are your current thoughts on the birth process, and do you prefer an egg or a live birth for your offspring? What will you do with your placenta?
CC: An egg is infinitely better than live birth except that placenta is delicious, so if there is going to be a live birth, I will definitely eat the placenta.
JA: I would definitely prefer an egg, as the contemplative period of nesting would suit me very well for the reading of a few books I’ve been meaning to get to. Regarding the placenta, I would probably put it under my pillow to see if it has any effect on dreaming.
DC: Live birth is an evolutionary-bureaucratic compromise approximating superior avian, reptilian and insectoid procedures and will be superseded. Both placenta, the navel and breasts must be retained as charming follies. I will prepare my placenta with polenta.
CW: The birth process is a good metaphor for ideas bursting through the top of the skull. I prefer to give birth to an egg because they don’t cry and you always know when the creatures within are about to break through because you can feel the ground shake. There is no placenta.
SK: Birth is the end of death and the opposite, I have a return ticket. Offspring should choose. If I say live birth they will say egg. My placenta has been on holiday, it didn’t send a card.
Describe the characteristics of cosmic semen.
CC: The characteristics of cosmic semen are the characteristics of mankind as an emanation of the unconscious.
JA: Cosmic semen has a remarkable resemblance to a number of things appearing in the Jetsons theme song.
DC: Comets and meteors. The mysterious dark red interstellar traveller that recently passed through our solar system. Space dust that crackles in the mouth.
CW: Cosmic semen tends to fill the void with the consistency of pancake batter poured into a skillet. Within its micro-pores float a thousand varieties of photons, quarks and space dust.
SK: An arc of light in the corner of my eye.
Should we follow the example set by the noble gastropod and become hermaphrodites, replacing our genitalia with new and interchangeable objects of our choosing?
CC: Yes, we should seek to be both male and female. Where our bodies go, our mind will follow and this will help us embody the perfect androgyny of the unconscious.
JA: Absolutely we should. I would personally choose a turkey baster.
DC: Sexual fetishism in all its marvelous forms represents the beginning of this inevitable process.
CW: Should we become hermaphrodites, and should we replace our genitals with new interchangeable objects? Certainly, as long as we have the option to morph back out of those shapes as we desire and to make our genitals as big as a house, as long as a fifty yard dash, and as wide as Lake Superior, or as tiny as the buttocks of an ant.
SK: Calcium daggers are a retrograde step unless you are a Borgia or Medici in which case the slime is essential.
Which word involving some characteristic of the human sex organs do you find the most poetic?
CC: Clitoris has poetic potential, being the same material as the masculine penis, but organized into a feminine form.
DC: Quiff, derived from coiffure. Both suggest the archaic quim.
CW: The genitally related words that are the most poetic would surely include tumescent, turgid, throbbing, hungry, devouring, charging, sliming, spitting, and queefing.
Will pubic hair replace yarn in the crochet of the future?
CC: Being one step ahead of the collective in the crafting game, I have been aware for quite some time, that pubic hair is the finest material available for creating an number of crochet items, such as socks, scarves, blankets, and soft burrito coffins.
JA: Yes, if the necessary legislation is worded just right.
DC: No. Instead it will be cloned and cultured to create humane, luxurious fur coats, mufflers and hats.
CW: Pubic hair is no longer required as a designation of sexual maturity. Instead the genitals themselves will recite a Haiku when they are ready. The yarn of the future will be made from our thoughts alone.
SK: Crochet needles make pubic hair.
Would you prefer pollination by insect over human reproduction in its current incarnation?
CC: I would prefer pollination over human reproduction as long as the insect won’t suddenly demand my obedience.
JA: Yes, so long as it wasn’t a ticklish or stinging insect. Perhaps a slug?
DC: Why stop there? Instead, I propose symbiotic Cronenbergian invaders from within. Facehuggers and chestbursters.
CW: Pollination by insect, human reproduction: These things to us are but one.
SK: The insect shall inherit the earth.The Queue has started,their turn is after our orgy.
It’s very exciting to see that the catalogue for the Archaeology of Hope, an international surrealist game, exhibition and ritual held on the Isle of Wight in 2017, is now available from Head Louse Press. This gorgeous catalogue contains many strange and shocking wonders from the surrealist future.
“The Archaeology of Hope was launched on the winter solstice of 2016, with an invitation to a game that culminated on the summer solstice of 2017. This book is a catalogue of the results of the game, and a record of the exhibition and performance ritual that sprang from it.”