Tag Archives: Nicole Peyrafitte

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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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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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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/
Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) News Poetry Prose Readings

NEWS: New Haven Screening

Two words: quiet and intense.  Martha read from memoir about moving to New York in 1957—and finding a place where Baz could paint and they could live for $50 a month.  Down at the bottom of Manhattan Island, a block from Battery Park, when that was below what the cops called the “Fulton Street deadline.” It was almost totally uninhabited and fabulously empty all night long.

Baz read selections from Learning to Draw, showing one more time how all the intertwining parts of that epic can recombine, reorder, and be seen in different combinations  like paintings in a museum or cards in the deck.   There was Camille (Monet) on her deathbed and the Towering Ace from “Wild Cards”;  Bill Traylor, the cave painters, and Cy Twombly from “In the Movies”.   There was Hans Holbein the Younger arriving at Black Mountain with a suitcase and a small hamper of brushes and paints (from “The Real Thing Has Four Parts”) and there were the smells, sounds, images of September 11, 2001 from “Twin Towers.”

Learning to Draw Then Mark Lamoureaux projected the film,  “Basil King: MIRAGE.”  We had to do the reading first because sunlight streams into their high floor near Wooster Square till well past 9 pm and Mark and Rachel have white translucent blinds.

Mark had a screen and a projector for the DVD disk.  But not the BluRay version.  It was so well received people asked to see it again.  As a filmic introduction to painter/poet Basil King it is quite properly layered, nuanced, intricate and deserving of multiple viewings.  Once again, thanks to Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.

Stay tuned for news of  future screenings!

Baz in his studio - the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film
Baz in his studio – the same shelf of chalks is the opening visual of the film

ABOUT the film        http://basilkingmirage.net/

See the TRAILER      https://vimeo.com/35652974

 

ART Basil King Basil King MIRAGE film Martha King Memoir (Outside Inside) Movies Readings

NEWS: “Basil King: MIRAGE” to play in New Haven

NEWS:  June 19, 2013.     Mark Lamoureux  and Rachel Chatalbash are hosting a screening of  the film, “Basil King: MIRAGE” and the video of  the conversation between Basil and George Quasha, “Art is Not Natural,” at 7:30 PM in their loft in New Haven.  The film, created by Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, is a portrait of the artist featuring his paintings, graphics, and text from his long poem, mirage.

Basil and Martha will be on hand to read their prose and poetry and talk.  Books will be for sale at “reading” prices – and guests are welcome.  Visit Mark Lamoureux’s  EVENTS page on Facebook for details.Martha & Basil King

 

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Students at UNNCArts comment on “Basil King: MIRAGE”

 

Julian Semilian

 

Filmmaker and poet Julian Semilian screened the film for his students in experimental film at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Winston-Salem). (The school’s ‘movie street’ is seen above.) He sent these comments:

I can see why Nicole insisted on blu ray. It looked spectacular. It also made a huge difference seeing it on a large screen.

This is the first time that my students were THAT talkative after a movie. One of the comments was that this was a film made by an artist about an artist. They emphasized this more than once.

We had looked at films about other artists (Motherwell, Rothko, Bourgeois, Eggleson, Robert Frank) but never before did they feel that involved. The main thing…they liked was that the filmmaker stayed out of the way of the subject….They loved the construction, blending the art with Baz’s reading of his auto-biographical poem, so that we get to know the fusion and mirroring of Baz and art. And they really appreciated seeing the art so large. At the end…I spoke to them about Black Mountain (only one student knew a little about it), some of the other principal characters, and about Frank O’Hara. Next week I am going to read them some O’Hara poems. All in all, a splendid evening. I felt happy and proud to make a connection between the generations.