william burroughs @ semiose (paris): “the ripper spirals”, till april 29

Jean-Max Colard (Translation: Chris Atkinson):

<<Both close up and from a distance, the paintings “executed” by Burroughs in Kansas, in the 1980s and after, seem to me to be the epitome of punk painting.
Burroughs […] prevents any direct and convenient communication between the paintings and their viewer, refusing any messaging, gluing (sometimes repeatedly) images from magazines to the canvases, saturating the spaces with marks; jamming is obviously the true modus operandi of these paintings.
Paul B. Preciado, in Dysphoria Mundi (2022): “For Burroughs, these acts of sabotage had a therapeutic, almost organic purpose. They were intended to heal the social body: mass communication had generated a form of contamination, against which it was only possible to fight by intentionally hijacking the inscription machines. Electronic guerilla warfare was the only thing capable of ‘releasing the virus contained in the word and thus bringing about social chaos’”.
writing (and also language, speech and communication) is always an infection. Yet Burroughs’ proactive proposals to deal with this contamination are crucial: “For Burroughs, the writer and activist’s task was to attempt to use language as an inoculation, as a vaccine. Language has infected us and we can only be cured by the intentional hijacking of the semiotic machines that inhabit us”, and that includes turning them against themselves and against the poisonous power they exert on us and within us>>.

read the whole text here: