William S. Burroughs was born 101 years ago today.

William S. Burroughs was born 101 years ago today. Photography: Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, 1980

William S. Burroughs was born 101 years ago today.
Photography: Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, 1980

Photography: Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, 1980

William Burroughs (1914-1997) was a novelist, a guru and one of America’s underground heroes. His greatest novel, ‘The Naked Lunch’ (first published in France in 1959) was banned on the grounds of obscenity until, in a groundbreaking trial in 1966, it was declared not obscene.

By 1980, when this photograph was taken, Burroughs was a countercultural giant. Mapplethorpe portrays him as a secular saint in prayer. Almost half the composition is taken up by Burroughs’s dark jacket, which thereby throws into sharp relief his head and clasped hands.”

(source: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/mapplethorpe-william-burroughs-ar00211)



Barry Miles, Stewart Home, Shezad Dawood et. al. @ William S. Burroughs ‘Can you all hear me?’ (Exhibition), October Gallery, Bloomsbury, UK.
Saturday, 7 February 2015 from 15:00 to 16:30 (GMT)

“Barry Miles, author of the definitive Burroughs biography, William S. Burroughs, A Life, will be in conversation with artists Stewart Home, Shezad Dawood and others, discussing: “Cut-Ups as a Revolutionary Weapon.”

“October Gallery’s long association with William Burroughs began in 1988 with his second solo exhibition, his first outside of the United States. The founders of the October Gallery have worked with Burroughs since 1974.

Burroughs pioneered incisive tools – ‘cut-ups’- to deconstruct mechanisms of institutionalized control systems that corrupt inborn intelligence.”

Info: http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/exhibitions/2014wsb/;



William S. Burroughs centenary, open plenary


“Beyond the Cut-Up: William S. Burroughs and the Image”

Presented in association with the University of Edinburgh and taking place at The Photographers’ Gallery on Sat 15 February 2014, Beyond the Cut-Up explores new theoretical interventions and accounts of Burroughs’s ideas of the image.
William S. Burroughs’s complex and provocative uses of the image challenge critical and theoretical orthodoxies.

His works in writing, visual arts, cut-up and collage, painting, assemblage, photography, and in sonic arts, constantly return in multiple ways to a detailed and politically urgent enquiry into the nature and effects of the image, the word-as-image, and beyond.
The opening plenary, introduced by Patricia Allmer, was given by Oliver Harris, Professor of American Literature at Keele University and titled A Life-Time Cut-Up


Comments are closed.