|Born in 1922, Henri Chopin is a relatively little known but key figure of the French
avant-garde during the post-war period. Principally celebrated as a concrete and sound poet,
he is responsible for a large body of pioneering recordings using early tape recorders, studio
technologies and the sounds and textures of the manipulated human voice. His stress on the
corporeal aspect of sound is reminder that language stems as much from oral traditions as from
classic literature, of its delicate balance between order and collapse.
Chopin is however significant above all for his huge range of creative achievement, as well as
for his position as a focal point of contact for the international arts. As poet, painter,
graphic artist and designer, typographer, independent publisher, film-maker, broadcaster and
arts promoter, Chopin's innovatory work stands as a fascinating barometer of the shifts in
European creative practice between the 1950s and the 1970s.
||Above all, his publication and design of the classic audio-visual magazines Cinquième Saison
and OU between 1958 and 1974, each issue containing recordings as well as texts, images,
screenprints and multiples, brought together international contemporary writers and artists
such as members of Lettrisme and Fluxus, Jiri Kolar, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tom Phillips, Brion
Guysin, William Burroughs and many others, as well as bringing the work of survivors from
earlier generations like Raoul Hausmann and Marcel Janco to a fresh audience.
This is the first retrospective in this country, and will focus on Chopin's graphic work,
concentrating on publications, posters and typewriter poems, as well as offering audio-visual
documentary material and sound recordings.