An evening of presentations dedicated to the final work of seminal theorist and artist Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), who has inspired many artists, filmmakers, and choreographers worldwide.
This event will feature a reading by Stephen Barber, translated from Artaud’s final notebook texts and interviews alongside musical, moving- image and performative contributions by Karolina Urbaniak, Richard Hawkins, Audrey Szasz, John Zorn, and Martin Bladh.
The event will open with a short discussion between Matt Williams and Stephen Barber about A Sinister Assassin, a collection of the final writings and interviews of the legendary artist and writer Antonin Artaud from the first months of 1948, edited and translated by Stephen Barber from the original documents and manuscripts. It is followed by a reading by Stephen Barber of one of the two newspaper interviews Artaud gave in the last week of his life at his pavilion in Ivry-sur-Seine. He discusses and refuses both his imminent death and the then-recent censorship of his radio work and delivers his last denunciations.
Karolina Urbaniak’s contribution to the event is an audio-visual exploration of The Projection of the True Body, one of Artaud’s last drawings, which illustrates Artaud’s final preoccupations and obsessions with magic, the battle with evil and the strive for infinity through the creation of the body without organs. Richard Hawkins’s longstanding interest in Artaud has manifested in various mediums, including texts, ceramics, drawings and moving-image. For the A Sinister Assassin event, he will present a series of short digital videos focusing on the humour and eroticism of Artaud’s Rodez drawings.
Audrey Szasz’z will recite fragments from the new Tutuguri to evoke the legendary performance of Colette Thomas. The latter read from Artaud’s Fragmentations at the gala benefit for him held at the Sarah Bernhardt Theatre on June 7, 1946.
After this, John Zorn selects a piece of self-composed music inspired by Artaud. Martin Bladh will close the event with a performative reading based on Artaud’s last notebook (no. 406), which contains the last words Antonin Artaud ever put to paper.
Please note that the event will contain videos of nudity and explicit sexual content.
Organised in collaboration with Stephen Barber, Infinity Land Press and Camden Art Centre.