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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Jarek Piotrowski’s Soft Machine

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Jarek Piotrowski is a Polish-born Canadian artist whose exhibition of hand-cut PVC mats at Galerie8, London, borrows a title and inspiration from William Burroughs’ The Soft Machine. From the usual slab of gallery-speak:

Drawing on the subversive William S. Burroughs novel The Soft Machine (1961), Piotrowski’s work explores themes of the human body under siege, repetitive rituals and institutions of control. Through an immersive installation of paintings, cut-outs, experimental music and live performance, structure and order are broken down and unanswered fundamental questions of human nature confronted.

These creations no doubt look better in situ than in photos. The close-up below makes me think of Brion Gysin’s meshed calligraphy and the slots in his Dreamachines. Piotrowski talked to Dazed Digital about the Burroughs influence:

I don’t necessarily have a favourite part of the book, I like it as a gesture in itself completely rather than a particular part. I think of it more as an entity, but I do particularly like the phrase, ‘two assholes and a mandrake’ – it is a beautiful picture that I find quite intriguing.

Soft Machine runs to March 11th, 2012.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Looking for the Wild Boys
Wroblewski covers Burroughs
Mugwump jism
Brion Gysin’s walk, 1966
Burroughs in Paris
William Burroughs interviews
Soft machines
Burroughs: The Movie
William S Burroughs: A Man Within
The Final Academy
William Burroughs book covers
Towers Open Fire

 


 

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