The Kunsthalle Vienna is currently home to a William S. Burroughs exhibit, showcasing the writer and artist’s experimental body of work — including paintings, photographs, filmic pieces, and groundbreaking sound works.
“Particular emphasis is on the collage and cut-up techniques used by Burroughs as an important and influential part of his artistic language and legacy. His early collage experiments and the possibilities they imply have had a wide-ranging impact on the use of tape-collage and lyric forms by artists such as The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, and Sonic Youth among many others as well as the technique of digital sampling.”
These methods — influenced by fellow creative Brion Gysin — also applied to Burrough’s writings and printed media, and were used as a divination tool. Text was cut up and rearranged in unusual ways to create new material, and Burroughs felt it helped “the future leak out.” The exhibition features many rarely shown works and is on display until October 21. If Vienna isn’t part of your travel schedule for the summer, check out a preview of the show after the break.
Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Danger, Paris 1959, The Barry Miles Archive