Category Archives: Basil King MIRAGE film

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NEWS: Basil King exhibition SOON

Basil King: Between Painting and Writing — September 2 to December 24 in Asheville, NC

Curated by Vincent Katz and Brian Butler, at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center, Asheville, NC.

This show will include paintings using images from playing cards, texts of King’s poetry, his covers for poetry books and journals, along with a large selection of his works on paper. He’ll give a poetry reading and there will be a screening of the Nicole Peyrafitte & Miles Joris-Peyrafitte film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” on September 1.  King will do a ‘walk-through’ talk on his work at the opening on September 2.

On Sunday, September 4, Martha and Basil will share their experiences reading and editing each other’s work.  Workshop will include brief readings, critiques, and audience discussion of process.

For more information: info@blackmountaincollege.org

From the Queens: Queen of Hearts/The Academic.  Mixed media on canvas, 2010
From the Queens: Queen of Hearts/The Academic.
Basil King, mixed media on canvas, 2010

 

 

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NEWS: Exhibitions of Basil King art in 2016 –17

Exhibitions of Basil King art in 2016 – 17

 Opening September 2, 2016: Basil King: Between Painting and Writing curated by Vincent Katz and Brian Butler, at the Black Mountain College Museum &Arts Center, Asheville, NC.   Open until December 31, 2016.

Queen of Hearts - Highway Obstacle, one of the "Cards" series to be shown in Asheville
Queen of Hearts – Highway Obstacle, one of the “Cards” series to be shown in Asheville

This show, will also include texts of King’s poetry and some of his covers for poetry books and journals, along with paintings using images from playing cards.

For more information: info@blackmountaincollege.org

 

Opening October 28, 2016: Basil King’s Birds curated by Tom Patterson, at St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC. Open until November 19, 2016.

This show, focusing on King’s bird images, is part of a semester-long Black Mountain College Festival, with many exciting artists in residence for short visits.

For information and schedules: Ted Wojtasik – wojtasik@sa.edu or Whit Griffin –    kudzuking@yahoo.com

These two North Carolina events overlap for the duration of the St.Andrews show. Laurinburg and Asheville are 230 miles apart, a drive of about four hours.

 

Opening February 25, 2017: Art of Basil King

John Molloy Gallery, 49 East 78th Street, 2nd floor, New York.

This will be the first solo New York exhibition of Basil King’s work since his historic exhibition of “Green Man” paintings at Poets House in 2010.

 

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Congratulations Miles Joris-Peyrafitte!

With great pleasure – but not that much surprise – we note the SUNDANCE film festival’s special jury award for Miles’s first full-length feature As You Are.

The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016
The Joris Peyrafitte family at Sundance, January 2016

The lack of surprise is due to seeing Miles work when he was still a Bard College undergrad on the 2013 short Basil King: MIRAGE along with his mother, multimedia artist, Nicole Peyrafitte. Seen above, poet (and dad) Pierre Joris, Miles, Nicole, and brother Joseph Mastantuono, who did post- production on both the King film and Miles’ new dramatic feature, at SUNDANCE.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming "Basil King: MIRAGE"
Miles Joris-Peyrafitte filming “Basil King: MIRAGE”
Working with Nicole Peyrafitte on "Basil King: MIRAGE
Nicole Peyrafitte at work on “Basil King: MIRAGE”

This film, commissioned by The Friends of Basil King, takes 22 minutes to present an introduction to Basil King’s art and poetry, with skillful filming of his work and his studio and a voice-over narration provided by King reading from this 2003 book, mirage: a poem in 22 sections.

It has since been screened at the Beverly Mass. Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives (the premiere), Kent and Sussex universities and Brookes Oxford Art School in England, the Asheville Museum, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, and informally at readings in London, New Haven and New York.

Opening title for the film on Baz.
Opening title for the film.

There will be a screening this coming fall at the Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center in connection with their exhibition of Basil King’s art.  For more information about the film and the trailer: basilkingmirage.net

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The YEAR 2015

Just got (unrequested) a look back at 2015 from Facebook, hitting not much of much interest. Thus am prodded to do my own.

February – Baz reads at the Dia Foundation with the wonderfully multi-talented multi-named Pam Dick (Mina, Gregoire, et al) in celebration of the 2014 publication of his The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand. Marsh Hawk Press.  Available at SPD and elsewhere. (Probably even ABE’s for the pennysavers.)

 Basil King’s … mashups of art, culture, and lived experience, both minute and momentous challenge the reader out of conventional notions of art history, by a continuous attention to detail. . . .” — Kevin Killian

April – At the AWP meeting in Minneapolis. Martha speaks in a panel discussion, organized by Martha, about the influence of Black Mountain today, with C.S. Giscombe, Burt Kimmelman, Lee Ann Brown, and Vincent Katz. Later a terrific reading by Baz and C.S. Giscome and a larger group reading also including Sam Truit, Kim Lyons, Burt Kimmelman, and more, at James and Mary Laurie Booksellers

AprilIn conjunction with AWP, “Basil King: MIRAGE” a film by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte is screened at the Walker Art Center.

May – Baz is 80 years old.

June – New York premier of selections from George Quasha’s monumental Poetry Is project at Anthology Film Archives includes Quasha’s interview with Baz.

June– Martha returns to poetry with work in Bone Bouquet, 6.1. Still available:  http://www.bonebouquet.org/issue-6-1/   So too is Bone Bouquet 6.2 just out this fall. One way to reassure oneself that the era of adventurous magazine publishing is far from over is to check out this magazine.

November – Martha’s memoir Outside Inside – that is 50 pages of it, expertly excerpted and condensed by Brigid Hughes, is featured in issue 22 of A Public Space magazine.With photos of the long ago that seem fresh.  Issue 22 –print or digital—can be ordered here: http://apublicspace.org/magazine

December  short podcasts of Baz reading the following poems – and one personal recollection of TV in the early 1950s. Go here! https://soundcloud.com/joseph-terranella/sets/basil-king-2015

Basil’s Lifeboat   (1 minute 23 seconds)

Inside Delacroix’s Garden (2 minutes 14 seconds)

The Butterfly and the Rat (2 minutes 32 seconds)

Looking for the Green Man (3 minutes 53 seconds)

Highway Obstacle (4 minutes 11 seconds)

Channeling 3 – (4 minutes 18 seconds)

The Americans – The Immigrants   (6 minutes, 48 seconds)

Grey – complete (14 minutes 27 seconds)

Working in TV – from an interview (2 minutes 46 seconds)

AND MUCH TO COME IN 2016, including BASIL KING ART at the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center, Asheville, N.C., opening SEPTEMBER 2.

Bone Bouquet, Spring 2015
Bone Bouquet, Spring 2015
Martha King reading . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.
Martha King reading in Minneapolis . Photo by Sarah Kaplan.
Baz reading at the Dia Foundation9
Baz reading at the Dia Foundation. Photo by Garth Davidson.
At the Walker Museum, April 2015
At the Walker Museum, April 2015
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News! Basil King and Nicole Peyrafitte at The Walker Art Center

In partnership with Associated Writing Programs, which is having its annual meeting in Minneapolis this April, the Walker Art Center is hosting these free events Thursday April 9 from 5 pm to 11 pm:

  • 5-9:   Screenings of Basil King: Mirage, every half hour, Lecture Room, Free
  • 5:30: Basil King book signing, Bazinet Lobby, Free
  • 6:30: Minnesota Expatriates Poetry Reading, Walker Cinema, Free
  • 7:20: Minnesota Expatriates book signing, Bazinet Lobby, Free
  • 8:00: “Greatest Hits” Poetry Reading, Walker Cinema, Tickets $10 ($8 Walker members); book signing in Lobby to follow
  • 9:00: Reviewers Party—All Welcome! Drinks and revelry in the Cargill Lounge, Free
The Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center
Opening image of film, "Basil King: MIRAGE"
Opening image of film, “Basil King: MIRAGE”

All the events are open to the public as well as the AWP attendees.  Nicole Peyrafitte will introduce the screenings, and Basil will be signing his latest book, The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand from Learning to Draw, Marsh Hawk Press, 2014.

Front cover of King's The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand
Front cover of King’s The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand

 

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Our UK Tour – Final installment

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October 17:  Sussex University;  October 24: Brookes Oxford

First of all, Brookes Oxford is a new university in Oxford, not the ancient dreaming spires establishment.  It was named in 1992 to honor its first principal … but was previously known as Oxford Polytechnic and before that as the Oxford School of Art.  A hundred years old and today quite new. Today’s university is exploding with students from less than privileged England and from all over the post-colonial world. They are taking high-tec courses in architecture, engineering, research, computer sciences, web design and, as ever, art.

But a multimedia sculptor on the faculty told me he hears students say they’ve chosen to study art because they didn’t know what else to do.  Almost a diagnostic of  contemporary discontent.  (What are we doing? Why?)

Sussex is older and younger than Brookes.  It was the first of a wave of British universities that opened in the 1960s, full of enthusiasm for exploring new relationships among teachers, learners, and the materials they might choose to draw from.  Fifty years on, it still attracts left-leaning politically progressive students, many of them readers and writers of poetry, but it is very very far from operating with a disseminated power structure, and for being a face of changed possibilities.

We presented Black Mountain Trace:  Martha King and Basil King at these two campuses in addition to our events at Kent University and Veg Box/Free Range. (See earlier post.)

We both read from our work, we screened Basil King:MIRAGE, Baz spoke about Olson’s classes and read his introduction to Charles Olson at Goddard College (from Cuineform Press, documenting a three-day Olson class in Olson’s own words).  And we screened the 10-minute version of  George Quasha’s tape, Basil King: A speaking portraitAt Sussex we had two hours in a dauntingly enormous amphitheater.  But it filled with 75 or 80 students, many of them already familiar with Black Mountain writers.

A titter ran across the audience when I broke from my reading to recommend John Wieners’ work.  Later, I was told the school has a corps of Wieners admirers, some of whom know all the Hotel Wentley poems by heart.

We had two hours – and then the event repaired to an on-campus pub.  We were mobbed.   Finally Daniel Kane, head of American studies and our host, pulled us away, stuffed us into a cab, and took us for a wonderful but much quieter dinner at a pub in Brighton.

At Brookes Oxford we had three hours, and could present all of that, with longer readings by us both, and a 30-minute excerpt from Cathryn Davis’s film Fully Awake: Black Mountain College which we’d shown at Kent.  (For more about this film, visit http://fullyawake.org/    Not only are we among the interviewees, but the focus of the film is the school as school, what it was like to be a student there in the several Black Mountains that made up its short history, and what was carried away by students as memory and personal process. )

When the Brookes bell rang signaling 4pm, the end of our session, only some of the audience got up to go, apologizing several of them. They nailed us for telling them that Black Mountain had no set end times for classes. At BMC if something was happening, everyone stayed, stayed until the subject  -or the people-  were depleted. Or until a natural end.  We couldn’t quite do that at Brookes…in part because our energy ends before subjects do, and in part because the room we occupied was assigned to something else at 5pm.  Our host whisked us away for hot coffee and Panini, which we badly needed.

The bigger question from all this is why U.K. students in three different institutions (and others elsewhere?) are looking with such interest at poetry written 60-some years ago – and expressing instant enthusiasm for Basil’s current work which was totally new to almost all of  them –  as well as responding to our BMC recollections.

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Our UK Tour – Questions asked in Canterbury

 Questions asked October 10 and 11

David Herd, at Kent University
David Herd, at Kent University
Ian Brinton and Laurie Duggan at Kent
Ian Brinton and Laurie Duggan at Kent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why did you start writing so late?    (In 1985 Baz was 50 years old.)

I had one abortive attempt after another from the time I was a student.  I had one idea about making money by writing “The Black Mountain Bean Book,” with bean recipes and tales of Black Mountain, where I first leaned to cook.  Nothing.  Nothing.  I didn’t really start until after my first visit to U.K. – my first visit since leaving at age 11.  It was a shock.

When I got back to the U.S. I had a temporary job teaching painting and drawing. I was filling in for a friend at Rutgers Newark.  There was a huge gap between her morning and late afternoon classes. I sat in my friend’s office, began using her yellow legal pads, and I couldn’t stop.

The poem mirage and the movie MIRAGE begin that way: “It was 1985 and I was writing a poem.”

What was it like being a woman at Black Mountain College?

Difficult.  Attitudes about women were very much of the times, that is Olson’s were. I was unfortunately quite inured to the idea that women were some kind of “other” and not ever to be full members of the boys club. 1956!

Your painting is sometimes abstract and sometimes figurative. Why?

I can’ t separate one from the other.

If you were going to study art today where would you go?

I don’t know what I’d do now.  If I were a teenager today I might want to do something completely different. As it was I’d begun painting when I was 14.

  • Note: At the Veg Box, we screened Basil King:MIRAGE – the film by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.  At Kent University, the next day,  we screened the art is not natural video of Basil by George Quasha (see YouTube), and a 30-minute excerpt of Cathryn Davis’s film Fully Awake: Black Mountain College. Most of the interviewees in this film are people who had been students there. This is an ongoing project aimed at showing how the school actually functioned.   See  http://fullyawake.org/
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Our UK Tour–VEG BOX aka Free Range

October 10, 2013:  A train from London to Canterbury where Elaine Randall and Ian Rose met us, stashed our heavy bags in their car, and took us over (in the rain) to The Good Shed –a marvelous combo of farmer’s market and locavore food restaurant. Also possessing good parking, a rarity in Canterbury.

At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background
At Veg Bpx, Elaine Randall and Ian Rose (Ian Brinton, right background) before the performance began

We had daunting directions to our reading that night at The Veg Box, aka Free Range.  Something about walking through parking lots to the back fire escape.  So I thought NYC with a ladder-like set of very steep narrow iron steps. How in the hell will Baz get his gamy leg up?

Turned out to be normal enough, just metal and concrete. “Fireproof.” And about six steps in all.

There we met Sam Bailey…who very shyly asked if we’d mind his opening the evening with some piano playing by him.  We are guests. Of course we said yes. But had sinking feelings. What music would he play?   He’d already done yeoman’s service running back & forth to his apartment for the right cables and computer attachments to make showing the Basil King film possible.

Our doubts justified?  Not at all!   Give a listen:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXxsApcxB-c

We were surprised too how many people showed up:  some were BMC fans (Ian Brinton, e.g.) but many others crowded in.  From Kent University, Christ Church University, University College. Townspeople too.  From their attention and the questions asked, the audience was full of readers.  Per David Herd, who heads modern literature at Kent, this is one place where multiple streams can gather.  We need such in New York City!

Baz at the Veg Box
Baz at the Veg Box
Martha King at Veg Box, answering questions
Martha at Veg Box, answering questions