John Giorno Foundation is pleased to announce in Paris, the city-wide introduction of the French edition of Dial-A-Poem, a two-part work, premiering on October 17th, 2022. Consisting of a revival of Giorno’s legendary 1969 work, Dial-A-Poem, the release of the seminal work via a French phone line, is a new way to connect John’s legacy with a very vital following and moment. The Foundation has made a major commitment to France through a new Dial-A-Poem French Edition collaboration with over thirty artists, poets and activists who are primarily French speaking--such as Jean-Jacques Lebel, Julien Blaine, Olivier Cadiot, Exotourisme (Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Perez), and Claire Finch. Recorded in France, it will be available to callers free of charge, starting on October 17, 2022. The selection was organized by Benjamin Thorel, publisher and cofounder of After 8 Books in Paris. This new initiative coincides with the release of John Giorno’s memoir in the French language with Beaux-Arts de Paris Éditions.
+33 9 87 67 54 92 (French edition)
+33 9 73 72 32 77 (original English edition)
John Giorno (1936-2019) is recognised as one of the most innovative poets and artists of the twentieth century. His kaleidoscopic work fused and furthered poetry, visual art and activism, pushing text off the printed page and into the social realm.
Dial-A-Poem French Edition gathers the work of over 30 French-speaking authors from different generations, backgrounds, communities, and cities such as Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, and Montreal. The project is inspired by the “utopian” premise of Giorno’s original Dial-A-Poem,making accessible the works of renown and less-known authors. Some of the artists participating in the project knew John Giorno well and worked with him in the past, while, others are from a younger generation of writers, for whom the connection of language and media is a primary concern. Several artists from the LGBTQIA+ community have been invited to participate in the project echoing Giorno’s concerns as a queer artist and activist. Working at the intersection of poetry, performance, and the visual arts, the artists are concerned with the reinvention of language in relation to the body, the social, and the public.
Selected creatives include: Daphné B., Julien Blaine, Jean-François Bory, Barbara Braccini, Mia Brion, Olivier Cadiot, Jacques Demarcq, Marcel Devillers, Jacques Donguy, Exotourisme(Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster & Perez), Claire Finch, Jérôme Game, Liliane Giraudon, Arnaud Labelle-Rojoux, soto labor, Tarek Lakhrissi, Marguerin Le Louvier, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Marius Loris Rodionoff, Josèfa Ntjam, Gaëlle Obiégly, Laetitia Paviani, Élodie Petit, Nathalie Quintane, Théo Robine-Langlois, Clément Rodzielski, Grégoire Sourice, Julie Sas, sabrina soyer,ValentinaTraïanova, Benjamin Valenza.
The original 1968 Dial-A-Poem was first installed at The Architectural League of New York, then six lines routed to industrial-sized answering machines playing back audiotapes of work by poets in addition to radically aligned political activists. After receiving a quarter-page review in The New York Times on January 12, 1969, the project received millions of calls, resulting in threats from the telephone company to shut it down entirely. In response to its popularity, Giorno remarked, “There must be some way to expand on this acceptance of Dial-A-Poem, at least long enough to keep the project going. We need someone to come along and exploit us — for our own survival.” Dial-A-Poem was unique in that it discovered the telephone as a venue of mass communication. More than one million people used the service, which inspired a range of artistic and commercial applications such as Dial-A-Joke, Dial Sports, and Dial-A-Horoscope.
Replicating many of the earliest Dial-A-Poem recordings and including later additions from the Giorno Poetry Systems record label, the original English edition is a collection of 286 recordings by 130 poets, selected by Giorno himself in 2019 for what would become the final iteration of the analog telephone artwork. The selection of recordings celebrates the artistic, literary, political, and musical cultures with which Giorno was in dialogue from the mid-1960s onward and includes work by titans of the performance poetry and spoken word worlds as Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Penny Arcade, Amiri Baraka, William S. Burroughs, Diane Di Prima, Diamanda Galas, Allen Ginsberg, Bernard Heidsieck, Lydia Lunch, Meredith Monk, Psychic TV, Patti Smith, Anne Waldman, Giorno, and over 100 more.
John Giorno developed a relationship with the poetry and arts community in France starting in the late 70’s through his travels and relationships with fellow poets and artists like Bryon Gysin and William S. Burroughs. In 1981, he participated in the third edition of Polyphonix sound and poetry festival at the invitation of Jean-Jacque Lebel. In recognition of his contributions to contemporary poetry and his relationship to the greater art community, Centre Pompidou celebrated his life and work with The John Giorno Poetry Day in 2020.
The artist has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in France; at Palais de Tokyo (2015, 2103, 2012), Almine Rech (2015, 2012, 2009), Cahier d‘Art (2017), Faux Movement Centre d’Art Contemporain (2012), Centre National des Arts Plastiques (2010) and galerie du jour agnesb (2009, 2005). His work is included in the collections of the LVMH Foundation and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Dial-A-Poem French Edition was recorded in collaboration with *Duuu, an artists-run web radio founded in 2012 in Paris and focusing on is focused on the production and broadcasting of experiments with sound, music, and language.