Joe Orton’s plays to be retyped onto single sheet of paper to commemorate 50th anniversary of his death

Posted by ap507 at Jan 16, 2017 11:40 AM |
Performance artist Tim Youd to retype Joe Orton’s Complete Plays from 20 January to 5 February 2017

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 January 2017

Images of Tim Youd performing at the University of Leicester in 2015 and Tim’s finished art work of Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s6j3vuy1yz5my50/AABwexrB7nKDjiNoUw5mZuuVa?dl=0

Additional images of Joe Orton, including of his typewriter, are available here (Courtesy Leicester City Council/The Orton Estate): http://www.joeorton.org/Pages/Joe_Orton_Gallery.html

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Leicester-born playwright Joe Orton, performance artist Tim Youd will retype his Collected Plays on a single sheet of paper from 20 January to 5 February 2017.

Youd will perform at the South Library in Islington and the Queen's Theatre in the West End - both locations significant to Orton’s life and work.

With his partner Kenneth Halliwell, Orton redesigned books stolen from Islington Library - a crime that led to 6 months in jail - and his final play What the Butler Saw premiered at the Queen’s Theatre.

Youd will finish his performance at the opening of an exhibition of art inspired by Orton’s life and work at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in London on 5 February, between 2:00 – 4:00PM. 

The exhibition, titled ‘What the Artist Saw’, is curated by Dr Emma Parker of the University of Leicester School of Arts and Michael Petry, Director of MOCA, London.

Youd will use the same typewriter as Joe Orton: an Adler Tippa (for the first six plays) and then - because Orton bought a new typewriter in April of 1967, shortly before his death - an Adler Universal 40, for What The Butler Saw

Dr Parker, who worked with Tim to organise the event, said: “The typewriter played a central role in Orton's life: he typed his plays, letters and diaries and his typewriter was responsible for his arrest for the defaced library book covers (police matched the type on a letter to that on the altered dustjackets).

“Given this, Tim Youd's imaginative, thought-provoking performance is an apt homage to Orton and a wonderful way to bring new audiences to his work 50 years after his death.”

Tim Youd added: “I met Orton scholar Dr Emma Parker in Leicester two years ago, when I was retyping Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim at the University. Emma introduced me to Joe’s sister, Leonie (and Victoria sponge!).

“When Emma invited me to participate in the exhibition, I eagerly agreed to type all the plays in one extended performance. Emma then arranged the South Library venue and Michael set up the Queen’s Theatre. And now it’s happening.”

Tim Youd is engaged in the retyping of 100 novels over a ten-year period.

He retypes each novel on the same make/model typewriter in a location charged with literary significance specific to the subject novel.

Each performance is a multi-day, often multi-week event and each novel is retyped on a single sheet of paper, backed by a second sheet, run repeatedly through the typewriter.

To date Youd has retyped 48 novels at various locations in the United States and Europe.

Performance date and times:

Islington South Library, London (12 noon – 4:00PM, with a lunch break between 1:00PM – 2:00PM) – 20 Jan

Islington South Library, London (10:00AM – 4:00PM, with a lunch break between 1:00PM – 2:00PM) – 21 Jan, 23 Jan, 25 Jan

Queen’s Theatre, London (1:00PM – 5:00PM, with a lunch break between 1:00PM – 2PM) – 26 - 27 Jan, 31 Jan, 2-3 Feb  

Museum of Contemporary Art, London, 5 Feb, 2:00PM – 4:00PM

For further information about the exhibition ‘What the Butler Saw: Art Inspired by the Life and Work of Joe Orton’, visit the website here: http://www.mocalondon.co.uk/

Read more about Tim Youd’s performance at the University of Leicester in 2015 here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2015/march/famous-novel-to-be-retyped-on-a-single-sheet-of-paper-at-the-university-of-leicester


ENDS 

Notes to editors:

For further information/interviews, contact:

Tim Youd: tvyoud@gmail.com

Dr Emma Parker: ep27@le.ac.uk

Michael Petry: michaelpetry@mocalondon.co.uk

More on Tim Youd:

Youd is engaged in the retyping of 100 novels over a ten-year period. He retypes each novel on the same make/model typewriter in a location charged with literary significance specific to the subject novel. Each performance is a multi-day, often multi-week event. And each novel is retyped on a single sheet of paper, backed by a second sheet, run repeatedly through the typewriter. As the retyping progresses, the top sheet becomes saturated with ink, while the undersheet becomes embossed with indentation. As the top sheet further distresses, ink bleeds through to the undersheet. At the end of the performance, the two sheets are separated, and mounted side-by-side in a diptych.  This diptych serves as a formal relic, containing the repeated rectangle within the rectangle geometry present in two pages of an open book. The entire novel is present, but entirely illegible.

To date Youd has retyped 48 novels at various locations in the United States and Europe. He has been in residence at various historic writers’ homes, including William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak with the University of Mississippi Art Museum (Oxford, MS), Flannery O’Connor’s Andalusia with SCAD (Milledgeville, GA), and Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House (Rodmell, Sussex). His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at multiple museums in the United States, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art, Hemingway-Pfeffer Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, University of Mississippi Art Museum at Rowan Oak, and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History.

In May 2017, Youd will retype Patricia Highsmith’s Those Who Walk Away in Venice over a period of ten days. Curated by Paul Bright of Wake Forest University’s Hanes Art Gallery, Youd’s performance will take place at Casa Artom, a 19th century house situated on the Grand Canal and owned by the university.

For additional information about Youd’s 100 Novels project, see www.timyoud.com

Youd is represented by the Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York.  He lives in Los Angeles.

 

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