After beginning 2012 with an exhibition covering the all-but impenetrable oeuvre of French writer Raymond Roussel, Madrid’s Reina Sofia is closing out the year with an exhibition covering the all-but impenetrable oeuvre of French writer Antonin Artaud (who was born on this day in 1896).
As with the Roussel survey, Spectres of Artaud. Language and the Arts around 1952 acknowledges a figure whose influence ranged far beyond the literary, reaching into performance, music, visual arts and cinema. John Cage (who, incidentally, would be 100 years old tomorrow), Lygia Clark, Guy Debord and Robert Rauschenberg are among the Artaud legatees who figure in the exhibition. It was in 1952 that Cage and Rauschenberg took part in Theatre Piece #1, seen as the first happening, and an event informed by Cage’s reading of Artaud’s The Theatre and its Double.
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