Professor Colin Fallows curates exhibition at Kunsthalle Vienna
10 July 2012
Liverpool School of Art and Design’s Professor Colin Fallows, Professor of Sound and Visual Arts, has just returned from Vienna, where he curated a major exhibition on the work of the American writer and artist William S. Burroughs, one of the leading lights of the Beat Generation of American writers, poets and artists.
This special exhibition, entitled ‘Cut-ups, Cut-ins, Cut-outs: The Art of William S. Burroughs’ at the Kunsthalle Vienna, brings together a unique large collection from Burroughs’ vibrant and experimental body of work including writing, soundworks, painting, photography, film, video and associated documentation.
The world-renowned Kunsthalle Vienna is the exhibition institution of the City of Vienna for international contemporary art and Professor Fallows was invited by the Kunsthalle to devise and curate the exhibition in recognition of his previous international publications in the field. The four-year research and development period leading to the exhibition included collaboration with institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, Maggs Bros. London, the William Burroughs Estate and several private galleries and collectors in the UK and USA. The exhibition also includes a selection of items from various archives on Popular Culture held at LJMU's Special Collections and Archives which Prof. Fallows was instrumental in attracting to the University.
Professor Fallows has co-edited an accompanying book to the exhibition, published in both German and English, which includes scholarly texts and in-depth interviews by leading cultural historians in the field. The book also explores how the experiments by Burroughs, and the possibilities they imply, have had a wide-ranging impact on artists and musicians across the late-20th century and early 21st century.
Professor Fallows commented, "It has been a pleasure to receive the support and enthusiasm of the team from across all departments of the Kunsthalle Vienna for my research and work on the staging of this large-scale and complex exhibition."
The exhibition has received excellent media coverage, including features, interviews and reviews in Austrian national radio and television programmes, magazines and newspapers. Film footage of the show is available here
To coincide with the exhibition, the British Library has published an audio CD of rare and previously unpublished soundworks by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin held at the British Library Sound Archive. Professor Fallows was invited by the British Library as the subject expert to write the contextual essay for the publication which includes a recording of a full 42-minute reading by Burroughs in Liverpool in 1982.
Professor Fallows has also been invited by Austrian national radio to write and present a one-hour radio programme in relation to the curatorial theme of the exhibition.
The exhibition is on until 21 October and for those who can’t make it over to Vienna, the gallery website and catalogue can be viewed here