Saturday, January 5, 2008

Artists: Henri Chopin (1922-2008)

This post represents a little tribute to a great pioneer and explorer of the artistic avantgardes, dead two days ago.
His immense contribution constitutes a reference point for present and future generations of artists/people who love “The Creative Act”.

Date Of Birth: 1922, Paris, France
Date Of Death: January 3, 2008, England, UK

Henri Chopin is a little-known but key figure of the French avant-garde during the second half of the 20th century. Known primarily as a concrete and sound poet, he created a large body of pioneering recordings using early tape recorders, studio technologies and the sounds of the manipulated human voice. His emphasis on sound is a reminder that language stems as much from oral traditions as from classic literature, of the relationship of balance between order and chaos.

Chopin is significant above all for his diverse spread of creative achievement, as well as for his position as a focal point of contact for the international arts. As poet, painter, graphic artist and designer, typographer, independent publisher, film-maker, broadcaster and arts promoter, Chopin's work is a barometer of the shifts in European media between the 1950s and the 1970s.

His publication and design of the classic audio-visual magazines Cinquième Saison and OU between 1958 and 1974, each issue containing recordings as well as texts, images, screenprints and multiples, brought together international contemporary writers and artists such as members of Lettrisme and Fluxus, Jiri Kolar, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tom Phillips, Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs and many others, as well as bringing the work of survivors from earlier generations such as Raoul Hausmann and Marcel Janco to a fresh audience.

  • Audiopoems 1956-1980 (1980, Edition Hundertmark, 89. Karton)
  • Poésie Sonore (1983, Igloo, IGL 013)
  • Les 9 Saintes-Phonies: A Retrospective (1994, Staalplaat/Korm Plastics, STCD 070/kp 4694)
  • Le Corpsbis & Co (1996, Nepless, PS 961 1001)
  • Cantata For Two Farts & Co (1997, Alga Marghen, C 2VocSon007)
  • Les Mirifiques Tundras & Compagnie (1997, Alga Marghen, C 5VocSon012)
  • Audiopoems (2001, ? Records, 05)
  • La Peur And Co (1958-1979) (2002, ? Records, 09)
  • La Plaine Des Respirs (2007, Tochnit Aleph, TA 073)
Appears on:
  • VV.AA. - Futura, Poesia Sonora (1989, Cramps Records, CRSCD 091-095)
  • VV.AA. - Revue OU (2002, Alga Marghen, 15vocson045) (also as producer)
  • VV.AA. - Text-Sound Compositions: A Stockholm Festival (2006, Fylkingen Records, FYCD 1024)
Henri Chopin on
Henri Chopin on UbuWeb

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