L'Ombre Invisible in London
17th May - 1st June 2018
First Floor Gallery, Westminster Arts Library, 35 St Martins Street London WC2H 2CP

Private view: 6.30 pm 16th May. 

Email info @ antiquebeat.co.uk for details

A visual portrait of the late, great Beat writer, artist and provocateur WILLIAM S.BURROUGHS' London life curated by X-RAY AUDIO's Stephen Coates and Paul Heartfield with Barry Miles.

WILLIAM BURROUGHS moved to London in the winter of 1959-60 in order to be near his boyfriend, Ian Sommerville, who was finishing his studies at Cambridge University. He lived in London, on-and-off, until 1974, at first in a series of hotels, and from 1967, in Duke St. St. James’s, in Mayfair. 

He used photography as tool: by taking pictures of view from his window he saw the rooftops anew each day. He took multiple photographs of friends and random people to assemble visual composites in his mind that he could use to create characters in his writing. He made photographic montages from pictures of his family, partners and friends, photographed them, then re-arranged them: each montage having a different emotional value according to the placement and dominance of the different elements. 

The pictures were not stuck down like traditional collages, they only existed in the photographs. He inadvertently broke the rules and created new methodologies in his pursuit of ways of freezing his emotional and creative responses to different stimuli and situations. These photographs were given to his friend BARRY MILES when Burroughs moved back to the USA in 1974. Burroughs’ photographs are supported and contextualised by photographs that Miles took of him in the years 1972-4 that are also on display.


At 2pm, 26th May, there will be a guided walk of Burroughs London with sixties underground publisher Jim Pennigton and writer Antony Clayton.  Details HERE


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Watch Miles in conversation about Burroughs' London Life below


An edition of 23* sets of three prints as below has specially been produced to mark the exhibition. Each is a photograph of William S. Burroughs taken by Miles in Duke Street, St. James in London.

The 12" x 16" C type Giclee prints are made on archival paper and have been printed from Miles' original negatives.

Each is signed and numbered by Miles.

Price: £85 per print, £230 for a set of three (subject to availability).  

Please email nix @ antiquebeat.co.uk to order or for more information.

* Burroughs was obsessed wth the number 23 during his time in London, collecting newspaper clippings related to the number

Images Copyright: Barry Miles / X-Ray Audio.

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