Brion Gysin

British-Canadian painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist (1916-1986)

Brion Gysin (19 January 1916 – 13 July 1986) was a painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.

Brion Gysin

Quotes edit

  • Writing is fifty years behind painting.
    • Quoted in Brion Gysin: Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, ed. José Férez Kuri (Thames & Hudson, London, 2003), p. 153.
  • I enjoy inventing things out of fun. After all, life is a game, not a career.
    • Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 4.
  • I view life as a fortuitous collaboration ascribable to the fact that one finds oneself at the right place at the same time.
    • Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 9.
  • The Way Is Nor This Nor That.
    • Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 10.
  • Writers don't own their words. Since when do words belong to anybody? 'Your very own words,' indeed! And who are you?
    • 'Cut-Ups Self-Explained' in Brion Gysin Let the Mice In, Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 153.
  • I may write only what I know in space: I am that I am.
    • Notes on Painting, Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 96.
  • He covered tons of paper with his words and made them his very own words... he branded them like cattle he rustled out there on the free ranges of Literature... Used by another writer who was attempting cut-ups, one single word of Burroughs vocabulary could ruin a whole barrel of good everyday words, run the literary rot right through them. One sniff of that prose and you'd say, 'Why, that's a Burroughs.'
    • On the prose of William S. Burroughs in Here to Go: Planet R-101 (Interviews with Terry Wilson),Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 159.
  • Of course the sands of Present Time are running out from under our feet. And why not? The Great Conundrum: 'What are we here for?' is all that ever held us here in the first place. Fear. The answer to the Riddle of the Ages has actually been out in the street since the First Step in Space. Who runs may read but few people run fast enough. What are we here for? Does the great metaphysical nut revolve around that? Well, I'll crack it for you, right now. What are we here for? We are here to go!
    • The Process Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, p. 49.
  • Language is an abominable misunderstanding which makes up a part of matter. The painters and the physicists have treated matter pretty well. The poets have hardly touched it. In March 1958, when I was living at the Beat Hotel, I proposed to Burroughs to at least make available to literature the means that painters have been using for fifty years. Cut words into pieces and scramble them. You'll hear someone draw a bow-string. Who runs may read, To read better, practice your running. Speed is entirely up to us, since machines have delivered us from the horse. Henceforth the question is to deliver us from that other so-called superior animal, man. It's not worth it to chase out the merchants: their temple is dedicated to the unsuitable lie of the value of the Unique. The crime of separation gave birth to the idea of the Unique which would not be separate. In painting, matter has seen everything: from sand to stuffed goats. Disfigured more and more, the image has been geometrically multiplied to a dizzying degree. A snow of advertising could fall from the sky, and only collector babies and the chimpanzees who make abstract paintings would bother to pick one up.
    • Cut-Ups: A Project for Disastrous Success.
  • I Am the Artist when I am Open. When I am closed I am Brion Gysin.
    • Tuning in to the Multimedia Age, back cover

External links edit

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