TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell at Dilston Grove

Matt’s Gallery presents TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell at Dilston Grove, London – a programme of events realised with Richard Wilson and Anne Bean as part of her Live Art Development Agency/Tate Research Legacy: Thinker in Residence Award.

17-19 September 2010

Friday Continuous film screening 2–7pm. Performances by Melissa Castagnetto 7pm, Oren Marshall & Steve Noble 8pm, Yol 9pm
Saturday Continuous film screening 2–7pm. Performances by Shaun Caton 2–7pm, William Cobbing 7pm, Kaffe Matthews 8pm, Juneau Projects 9pm
Sunday Continuous film screening 2–7pm. Intermittent performance by Ryuzo Fukuhara 2–7pm. Sunday closing view with final event including performance by Ansuman Biswas 6–8pm.

Dilston Grove
Southwark Park
SE16 2UA

Download Matt’s Gallery TAPS Press Release here.

Paul Burwell was infamous for his exuberant fusions of fine-art installation, percussion and explosive performance. He was a staunch advocate of, and passionate participant in, all forms of experimental art. TAPS: Improvisations with Paul Burwell, realised by Anne Bean, Robin Klassnik and Richard Wilson embodies his prolific practice.

Over the course of three days TAPS will combine film, installation and performance, portraying layers of interpretation from more than 80 invited collaborators, in response to Burwell’s poem Adventures in the House of Memory. The poem arose from improvisations by Anne Bean and Paul Burwell in preparation for William S. Burroughs’ Final Academy at Ritzy, London in 1982, where improvised words were written on huge sheets of flash paper which were ignited as they were sung. The poem was the last recorded Burwell work, two months before he died in 2007 at the age of 58. The body of collaborators, including Stephen Berkoff, Evan Parker, Rose English and Paul McCarthy, have responded to the poem by each creating a short film or audio work as a new collaboration for, about or ‘with’ Burwell.

Fragments of the collaborators’ film or audio works*, now make a collective totem in a two screen, one hour composite film interpreted and edited by Anne Bean and Chris Bishop. This resulting work resonates with the poem’s innate episodic chronicles, as slivers interleaf together, and the film runs continuously throughout each day. The film is shown as part of a screen installation constructed by Richard Wilson. By adding its own sounds and actions, this structure becomes a part player in the final act of the last evening, during a performance by Ansuman Biswas.

Live performances form another layer of exploration, echoing the sense of inter-connectivity created by the installation. Each performer encompasses a practice that reflects the context and ethos in which Burwell worked, improvising within the framework of the poem, film, installation and space at Dilston Grove. The performances will take place at various times during the event.

Each collaborator’s original film or audio work will be available in full online through Vimeo from September, a link for which can be accessed through the Matt’s Gallery website http://www.mattsgallery.org/artists/burwell/exhibition-1.php

A publication with an essay by David Toop and drawings by Paul McCarthy, published by Matt’s Gallery, will be available free to visitors throughout the event.

TAPS is generously supported by a Live Art Development Agency and Tate Research Legacy: Thinker in Residence Award to Anne Bean; the National Lottery through Arts Council England; Matt’s Gallery, London; The Henry Moore Foundation; PRS for Music Foundation; Cafe Gallery Projects; Artsadmin.

Legacy: Thinker in Residence is a collaboration between the Live Art Development Agency and Tate Research, which acknowledges the outstanding bodies of work of artists who have influenced the development of the Live Art field by supporting them to think about the legacies of performance in art historical contexts and examine the processes and challenges of archiving live work. The Legacy Award recipients are Anne Bean and Tim Etchells.

The focus of Anne Bean’s Legacy project has been her long-term collaborator Paul Burwell and involved an exploration of what legacy consists of in a practice based on innovation and improvisation, and particularly in Burwell’s wide range of connections and concerns.

Legacy is financially assisted by Arts Council England and the Live Art Development Agency.

Anne Bean is an Artsadmin artist.


Collaborating Artists for the Composite Film are: Mark Anderson with Nick Sales & Jony Easterby; Anne Bean; Steve Beresford* ; Steven Berkoff; Ansuman Biswas & Mary Genis; Borbetomagus (Don Dietrich, Donald Miller & Jim Saulter); Brian Catling; Shaun Caton; Trace Collective (Phil Babot, Lee Hassall, Eddie Ladd, Tony Schwensen & Andre Stitt); Mike Cooper; Viv Corringham* ; Lol Coxhill* ; Kim Creighton; Peter Cusack; Terry Day; Hermine Demoriane; Sean Dower; Max Eastley* ; David Ellis & Lee Merrill; Rose English; Susanna Ferrar* ; Simon Finn; Chris Gladwin; Adalet Garmiany; Brian G Gilson; Charlie Hooker; Sylvia Hallett*; Martin von Haselberg aka Harry Kipper; P Jeck and Mary Prestidge; Jacky Lansley and Fergus Early; Lurca; Paul McCarthy; John McKeon; Ashleigh Marsh; Kaffe Matthews; Dan Maurer; David Medalla with Guy Brett, Alma Tischler & Marko Steponova; Gioia Meller Marcovicz; Phil the Messanger; Hugh Metcalfe; Phil Minton & Roger Turner* ; Charlie Morrissey; Rev Nagase; Miyako Narita; Maggie Nicols* ; Steve Noble; Hannah O’Shea; Marega Palser; Evan Parker; Brian Routh aka Harry Kipper; Tom Recchion; Carlyle Reedy; Rembrandt; Kirsteen Reynolds with The London Collective; Ezra Rubenstein; Elliott Sharp; Brown Sierra (Paddy Collins & Pia Gambardella); Anna Thew; Alan Tomlinson* ; David Toop: Toy Killers; Harald Uccello FoTyArT ORG; Patricia Wells; Mimi Westernhagen; Aaron Williamson* ; Richard Wilson with William Raban & David Cunningham; Marie Yates; Yo; and Z’ev*.

* films by Helen Petts.

Live Performances with: Ansuman Biswas; Melissa Castagnetto; Shaun Caton; William Cobbing; Ryuzo Fukuhara; Juneau Projects; Oren Marshall & Steve Noble; Kaffe Matthews; and Yol.


Anne Bean’s Legacy award also supported the TAPS DVD, which was launched at A Midsummer Night’s Dram: Improvisations With Paul Burwell, Cafe Oto, Tuesday 21 June 2011. The TAPS DVD can be purchased here.

Banner image credit:

Image by Trish Crummay

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Part of Legacy: Thinker in Residence Awards

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