Will Holder: An Evening with Robert Ashley

Friday, 20 July 2012
Gendai Workstation backyard (1265 Bloor Street West)
7 PM

Please join us for a public reading of the work of Robert Ashley by Will Holder. Robert Ashley, a distinguished figure in American contemporary music, holds an international reputation for his work in new forms of opera and multi-disciplinary projects. His recorded works are acknowledged classics of language in a musical setting. He pioneered opera-for-television, and finds television to be the artistic medium best suited to large-scale collaboration among a large group of individual artists. Ashley believes strongly in the collaborative process. Rejecting the conventional concept of aesthetic hierarchies, he maintains that “the idea is old-fashioned and suggests accompaniment […] Technique of profound collaboration is essential.” In his collaborations, he seeks to “use the full imagination of the artists in an arrangement that has a single goal–a single authorship–producing a work that is a composite of imaginations.”

Since 2005, British typographer Will Holder and composer Alex Waterman have been developing a notational system for Robert Ashley’s last three untranscribed operas: Yes, But Is It Edible?, (a biography of Robert Ashley, for four or more voices). Forthcoming, 2013. This will result in a 800 page book which should promote collective reading, interpretation and reproduction of Ashley’s work.

In 2010, Holder held an exhibition, “ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] BOB […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […] ROBERT ASHLEY […]” (an edited transcript of Holder’s conversation over the past 5 years), at OBJECTIF EXHIBITIONS in Antwerp. In 2009, he curated the exhibition Talk Show, at the ICA, London. Next year, he will be the anchor artist at THE ARTIST’S INSTITUTE, New York. He lives in East London, teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and edits F.R.DAVID, a journal concerned with reading and writing in the arts, published by de Appel, Amsterdam.

A collaboration between Art Metropole, C Magazine, Gendai Gallery, No Reading After the Internet and Sameer Farooq (New Ink).

No Reading After the Internet (Toronto) is supported by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto.


“Helter Skelter” as selected by Basma Alsharif

Thursday, 12 July 2012
A Space Gallery (401 Richmond Street West, Suite 110)
5 PM

Basma Alsharif in attendance

In conjunction with A Space’s exhibition of This Story Begins and Ends with Us, a solo show of the work of Basma Alsharif, this salon will feature selections from Helter Skelter (1974), the true crime classic, which will be offered up as a way to examine an author’s or artist’s relationship to historical detail and corresponding ideas of accuracy.

With a skillful play between moving images, text, translation and voice, the media work of Alsharif calls out the viewer’s position of watching, asking us to reconsider the certainty with which we know the world. Alsharif’s practice evinces an interest in how people relate to and internalize geopolitical shifts that occur within their lifetimes, and those they carry with them from past generations. Weaving structural visual codes with material archives, her aim is to decentralize content and produce work that operates through a multi-vantage perspective, thereby transforming information into a visceral experience.

Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Basma Alsharif spent her early childhood in France, and then immigrated to the US after being denied residency. She received an MFA from UIC in 2007 and relocated to Egypt. Alsharif has since worked between the US, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates on multi-media and single channel installation works. Alsharif’s work has shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally.

No Reading After the Internet (Toronto) is supported by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Special thanks to A Space Gallery, the Images Festival, Pleasure Dome and Trinity Square Video for their support of this salon.

Image credit: Basma Alsharif, We Began By Measuring Distance, 2009.

Sarah Schulman’s “The Gentrification of the Mind”

Wednesday July 11, 7pm Free
1965 Main St. Vancouver
Programmed by Alexander Muir. Facilitated by Amy Fung.

No Reading After the Internet is a salon for communally reading cultural texts with an interest in reforming publics and experimenting with the act of reading, as its own media form, in our moment. Participation in No Reading is free and open to everyone, regardless of his or her familiarity with a text or its author. Texts will be handed out at the gathering. No pre-reading or research is required.

Sarah Schulman’s book, The Gentrification of the Mind (University of California Press, 2012) examines the intersection of the American AIDS crisis and urban development. She was the first person in America to write on AIDS and the homeless (The Nation and The Village Voice). Twenty five years later on April 25, 2012, Occupy Wall Street teamed up with ACTUP along with supporters from Housing Works, Health GAP, National Nurses United, OWS Healthcare for the 99% Working Group, Visual AIDS, MIX NYC, Le Petit Versailles, Queerocracy, Queering OWS and other groups who converged for a daylong siege in Lower Manhattan.

We will be focusing on Chapter 2, “The Gentrification of AIDS,” as a launching point to the evening’s discussions. A parallel interest in the discussion of gentrification is the role of documentation.

Download Text Here

Additional Links:

Act Up Oral History Project

Act Up United in Anger Trailer

Act Up Target City Hall

Sarah Schulman (b. 1958) is a prolific American writer, historian, and activist. She is the co-founder of ACTUP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) and MIX NYC. Currently, she is Professor of English at The City University of New York, College of Staten Island, a Fellow at The New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, and on the Advisory Collective of the Human Rights and Social Movements Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Amy Fung is a writer and organizer currently based in Vancouver. For more information visit AmyFung.ca.