John Giorno

Interview - Performance

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John Giorno is an American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem. He became prominent as the subject of Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1963). He is also an AIDS activist and fundraiser, and a long-time practitioner of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Carte Blanche to Ugo Rondinone *John Giorno performance"
With: Ronald Bladen, Lee Bontecou, Martin Boyce, Joe Brainard, Valentin Carron, Vija Celmins,
Bruce Conner, Verne Dawson, Jay Defeo, Trisha Donnelly, Urs Fischer, Bruno GironcoIi,
Robert Gober, Nancy Grossman, Hans Josephsohn, Brion Gysin et William S. Burroughs, Toba Khedoori, Karen Kilimnik, Emma Kunz, Andrew Lord, Sarah Lucas, Hugo Markl, Cady Noland, Laurie Parsons, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Josh Smith, Paul Thek, Andy Warhol, Rebecca Warren, Sue Williams.

An innovative Carte Blanche
Giving an internationally renowned artist carte blanche is a key idea that emanates from the director of the Palais de Tokyo, Marc-Olivier Wahler. Placed at the centre of the decision-making process determining the programming of the Palais de Tokyo, the artist is free to concoct an entire exhibition. His or her vision is given an auspicious setting and sufficient time to develop into a visual arts world that is always unique. As well as offering a kind of map of the artist’s brain, desires and influences, giving carte blanche to an artist provides an opportunity to approach the processes of creation and aesthetic cross-referencing from a novel angle. Artists are never where we expect them to be. They look at our reality, our everyday life, but also the works of their contemporaries, in a unique and enlightened way.

A unique artistic gesture
With THE THIRD MIND, Ugo Rondinone offers us a unique journey. An MRI scan of his influences, inclinations and obsessions, the exhibition is constructed as a stroll through a brain in perpetual activity, going straight to the source of the artist’s references and discoveries. For the first time his gift for building systems of connections – an aptitude which has made Ugo Rondinone famous – is placed at the service of the works of other artists, not his own. The systems of connections activated as well as the artists and works chosen make THE THIRD MIND an exhibition that no curator/art historian would ever have been able to dream up.

The Third Mind
William S. Burroughs, the cult writer of the Beat Generation, and the artist Brion Gysin worked out the cut-up method which consists of cutting up and reassembling various fragments of sentences to give them a completely new and unexpected meaning. The Third Mind is the title of a book they devised together following this method; they were so greatly impressed by its contents that they felt it had been composed by a third person, a third author, a synthesis of their two personalities. 1+1 = 3. In homage to this book which was never published, Ugo Rondinone sets out to cut up and remix the contemporary artistic landscape to allow a new meaning to emerge from it. THE THIRD MIND, composed from the assembled works of thirty-one different artists, constitutes a fully fledged work in its right, a new, spectral work created by a third mind, a third artist, the product of the meeting between Ugo Rondinone and his selections.

UGO RONDINONE presents works by artists from the 1960s to the present, devoting a room, for example, to the monumental sculptures of Ronald Bladen, which he connects with Cady Noland's silkscreens on aluminium and Nancy Grossmann's disturbing masks.


Mark Alizart


John Giorno - Giorno Poetry Systems


John Giorno performance
Report & interview Sabine Morandini & Pascal Lagreze


Palais de Tokyo

13, Avenue du Président Wilson

75116 Paris