Above: Work by Brion Gysin, some inspired or in collaboration with William Burroughs
Ever want to go on a magical mystery tour? The late painter, illustrator, calligraphist, writer, and performance artist Brion Gysin did. That’s why Gysin constructed something called “the dream machine,” whereby folks could sit in front of a screen and by watching different colors and gradations of light, they could relax and transcend consciousness. A version of the dream machine is up now at the New Museum, as are incredible paintings and collages that Gysin did with his pal, artist/writer William Burroughs. One of Gysin’s images in our Hudson slideshow features a passage from Burrough’s infamous book, “Naked Lunch:” `A boy who disappears as soon as you come, leaving a smell of burning leaves and a sound effect of distant train whistles.’ Some say that book and the word collages (from the early Seventies) — as seen in this exhibit — don’t make sense. Both Gysin and Burroughs would disagree, preferring the experiential component of creation and story telling. After all, life doesn’t make sense, does it?
(Brion Gysin — now through October 3rd — at the New Museum, 235 Bowery, NYC.)