itinerant interlude #67

DOUGLAS HENDERSON:
‘summer of love’

Tony Buck, percussion
+ guest artists

poetry by Gregory Corso, Hedwig Gorski

Galerie Mario Mazzoli

ITINERANT INTERLUDE #67 took the source material of Douglas Henderson’s ‘summer of love’ as a starting point to present live performances by some of the musicians who participated in the original multi-track recording (which was later fashioned into the electroacoustic composition of the installation). Henderson himself, along with percussionist Tony Buck and guest artist Anna Clementi interact with ‘summer of love’ and other works in the show, performing poems by Gregory Corso and Hedwig Gorski.

Gregory Corso (1930-2001) was a key member of the Beat movement – along with Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs – a group of convention-breaking writers who came to prominence during the 50s and early 60s. Typographically published as a pull-out centerfold in the shape of a mushroom cloud, “Bomb” (1958) is considered by Henderson to be Corso’s magnum opus, “a truly iconic poem of that age, a monument that I place firmly in the pantheon with Ginsberg’s “Howl”. And to build such a work around a topic so dreadful, so unimaginable and yet ever-present; I find it breathtaking. Dante was fortunate to have the Bible and generations of assorted visions of hell to fit out his research for the “Inferno”. Corso had to build his poem from the naked fear of his fellow citizens and grainy newsreels of nuclear tests. Throughout the poem he nimbly and steadfastly sidesteps the pitfalls of national politics, to keep us focused on a global topic. While it reads as a bold, reckless, rough-edged exhortation, its underlying structure is robust, careful, systematic. He observes the bomb from every angle, and paints that armature with a furious riot of colors.”

Following the thread of ii #67, Hedwig Gorski’s “Could not get Gregory Corso outta my Car” (1985) lobs a metaphorical hand grenade into the events of the evening, a reminder that for all the ‘convention-breaking’ ascribed to the Beats, their regard for women remained pathetically retrograde. As Gorski writes: “My poem about Gregory is a news article, a piece of journalism, about the night I realized wonderfully passionate poets could also be backward males… I think the poem’s appeal goes beyond the anecdotal narrative because post-beat women poets are more powerful than the so-called “minor characters” portrayed in 1950s Beat literature. The Beat car metaphor for freedom and independence is well-represented and turned on its head in the aesthetic icon of my beloved 1967 turquoise Ford Mustang with multiple implications about a literary movement that liberated male poets from academic standards while reinforcing the weakening stereotypes of women.” Hedwig Gorski (b. 1949) is an artist-poet poet who describes her aesthetic as “American futurism.” She has published and performed her poetry widely and is especially renowned for her work with the East of Eden Band. Her upcoming anthology “Texas: The Beatest State in the Union” will soon be available through Lamar University Press.

Tony Buck is regarded as one of Australia’s most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. As a drummer, percussionist, improviser, guitarist, video maker and producer, he is involved in a wide array of projects but is probably best known the world over as a member of the trio “The Necks”. He has played, toured or recorded with Phil Minton, Haino, Switchbox, The Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdall, Jon Rose, The EX, John Zorn, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The Little Red Spiders, Clifford Jordan, Han Bennink, and Ground Zero.