This periodical was, in Chopin’s word, inclassable (non-classifiable) and disbanded the conventional two-dimensionality of a magazine format. Loose sheets of paper, various-sized posters, leaflets, three-dimensional poems, handcrafted objects as well as vinyl-records conjured new forms of poetry and connected artists working in the fields of concrete and sound poetry between 1958–1974. Though unique as a publication to date, it has many affinities with Marcel Duchamp’s Boites-en-Valise, Aspen Magazine and the Fluxkits of the Fluxus movement.
Contributors included besides Henri Chopin himself: visual artists Gianni Bertini, Man Ray, Tom Philips, Jiri KÃ´lar, Cozette de Charmoy or HansjÃ¶rg Gisiger, writers William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, composers Jacques Bekaert and Richard Orton, sound artists Annea Lockwood and Hugh Davies, Ben Vautier from the Fluxus movement, the Swedish text-sound composers Ã…ke Hodell and Sten Hanson, as well as historical vanguards like Raoul Hausmann, Marcel Janco, Michel Seuphor, Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, Marcelle Kahn and Pierre Albert-Birot, to name but a few of the over a hundred contributors.
Articulated around Marc Matterâ€™s research, the event will also focus on two of ChopinÂ´s collaborative film works, PÃªche de nuit (1963, 11.12â€™, black/white) and Stridence (1977-80, 8.42â€™, colour). PÃªche de nuit was a group effort between Tjerk Wicky, a Swiss student at the time, who shot the film, the Belgian abstract painter Luc Peire, and Chopin. Stridence was a series of collaborative live performance films, shot by Erik Vonna-Michell, in which Chopin interpreted sheets of large-format transparencies or “moyoscapes”, creating the soundtrack.
Marc Matter is a sound-artist and researcher based in Brussels. His area of research is artistsâ€™ publications, PoÃ©sie Sonore, sound art and experimental cinema. He was a fellow at Beinecke Library (Yale) in 2013 and recently curated the exhibition OU Henri Chopin and the Review OU at OSLO10, Basel. He is a founding member of the artist group Institut fuer Feinmotorik.
Henri Chopin / William S. Burroughs poster from OU 38/39 (1971) Designed by Henri Chopin using text-excerpts from William S. Burroughs' "Electronic Revolution" (silkscreen).