Tag Archives: Angus Maclise

Bardo Matrix – Books

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SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, and booklets of poetry and prose


1. Maclise, Angus. THE CLOUD DOCTRINE
First edition:
Kathmandu: Dreamweapon Press, 1974
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 10.75″, 16 pages, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen.

Note: The Cloud Doctrine was one of the first books produced by the Kathmandu beat poetry presses, and set the template for the books issued in this style.

2. Corso, Gregory. WAY OUT: A POEM IN DISCORD
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1974
Machine-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 10.75″, 22 pages, 500 numbered copies, letterpress printed on handmade paper by Sharada Printing Press. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series No. 1.

Note: Slip laid-in listing the cast for the first, and only, performance of this poem/play in Kathmandu, Nepal. The cast members included Ira Cohen and Angus MacLise

3. Ford, Charles Henri. 7 POEMS
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1974
Side-stapled in printed and photo-illustrated wrappers, 500 numbered copies, printed by Sharada Printing Press. Cover photo of Ford by Ira Cohen. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series No. 3.

Note: This is the third book in the Starstreams series but Ira Cohen gives it a 1974 publishing date in his publication list which would have it appearing before  Cohen’s 7 Marvels, published as number two in the series.
[not in archive]

4. Cohen, Ira. POEM FOR LA MALINCHE
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix/Bureau of Surrealist Research, c.1974
Undboud sheets laid into printed wrappers, 500 copies. Cover art by Dana Young (uncredited).
[not in archive]

5. Cohen, Ira. 7 MARVELS
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1975
Published as Starstreams Poetry Series No. 2.
[not in archive]



6. Maclise, Angus. THE SUBLIMINAL REPORT
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1975
Machine-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 10.75″, 28 pages, 500 numbered copies, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series, No. 4

According to Ira Cohen: “The Subliminal Report included two photos printed in silver ink on white machine made paper, one a mylar portrait of Angus taken in New York, the other a stone garuda sinking into the ground in Dhoka Tole just in front of the Raj Photo Shop where the negatives were developed and first printed…There was a very special collaboration going on here between the artists and artisans, Nepalis and foreigners, which was mutually inspiring and gives the books their unique quality. The Subliminal Report was the first book to utilize Bhutanese silk paper as cover stock.”

7. Bowles, Paul. NEXT TO NOTHING
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1976
Published as Starstreams Poetry Series No. 5.
[not in archive]



8. Cohen, Ira. POEMS FROM THE COSMIC CRYPT
First edition:
Kathmandu: Kali Press/Bardo Matrix, 1976
Hardcover in paper-bound boards with paper title label, 7.5″ x 9.75″, 90 pages, 500 copies, illustrated by Petra Vogt, introduction by Angus MacLise.
[not in archive]

9. Cohen, Ira. OPIUM ELEMENTALS
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1976
12″ x 9.25″, 350 copies.
[not in archive]


10. di Prima, Diane. LOBA PART II
First edition:
Pt. Reyes and Kathmandu: Eidolon Editions, 1976
550 copies.
[not in archive]


11. Valenza, Roberto Francisco. THE CLEARING STAGE
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1976
500 copies.
[not in archive]

12. Falk, Jane. CKROWWW
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1976
500 copies. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series No. 6.
[not in archive]

13. Gaynor, Iris M. EXITS
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1977
Machine-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 10.75″, 14 pages, 200 numbered copies, letterpress printed on handmade paper by Sharada Printing Press. Cover art by Lee Baarslag. Published as a Starstreams Special Edition.

14. Cohen, Ira. GILDED SPLINTERS
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1977
500 copies.
[not in archive]



15. Valenza, Roberto Francisco. LOST CONTACT
First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1977
250 copies.
[not in archive]



Bardo Matrix

The Bardo Matrix Press was founded in Kathmandu in the early 1970s by original Velvet Underground drummer, artist, and poet Angus MacLise and poet, photographer, and publisher Ira Cohen as a publishing outgrowth of the Colorado artists’ collective of the same name. MacLise and Cohen commenced to issue pamphlets, booklets, posters, books, and broadsides by not only themselves and their fellow travellers, but also by some of the most important names of post-war literature: Paul Bowles, Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima, and Charles Henri Ford were among the chosen.

The publications were printed in editions of anywhere from a couple of dozen to a few hundred, usually utilizing fine printing techniques such as wood blocks, letterpress, special inks, and handmade paper. But this was not based on traditional thoughts on fine printing, but rather on the opportunity to create something cheap and beautiful. There was a built-in audience for these publications on “Freak Street” in Kathmandu, where people in the circle of Bardo Matrix operated a small bookshop which did decent business selling wood-block printed headshop posters alongside poetry broadsides, these publications, as well as second-hand English language paperback books.

After the 1979 death of Angus MacLise, the activity of the Bardo Matrix Press quietly faded out. Ira Cohen returned to New York City where he was a highly visible member of the poetic demimonde until his passing in 2011, shortly after he had helped stage an exhibition on the life and work of Angus MacLise.


Bardo Matrix [Boulder]:

· John Chick


Bardo Matrix [Kathmandu] Checklist:

Section A: Books
Section B: Broadsides
Section C: Spirit Catcher Bookshop


Online Resources:

· The Bardo Matrix

· Big Bridge – Ira Cohen: The Great Rice Paper Adventure Kathmandu, 1972-1977

Granary Books – Dana Young Archive

Granary Books – Ira Cohen: The Bardo Matrix, Gnaoua, and The Great Society

Granary Books – Petra Vogt Archive

University of Delaware – Bardo Matrix Press

Angus MacLise – Books and Broadsides

>> return to ANGUS MACLISE main page >>

SECTION A:
This index includes books, chapbooks, booklets and broadsides


1. MacLise, Angus. STRAIGHT FARTHEST BLOOD TOWARDS (OPENING SECTION)
ph_straightFirst edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Single 6.25″ x 22″ sheet folded three times to make six printed pages and a cover, 5.5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed and with a block print  cover by Piero Heliczer. Angus MacLise’s first publication.

According to BeatBooks: It was after noticing a copy of this title in City Lights Books that La Monte Young first became aware of Angus MacLise. When the latter moved to New York in 1961 they began performing together regularly, and it was through Young that MacLise first met John Cale.

2. MacLise, Angus. YEAR, A WEDNESDAY PAPER SUPPLEMENT
ph_year
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1961
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 12 panels, one for each of the twelve months and an entry for each day, 4.6″ x 9″ (folded), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover illustration, “The Ascension of St. Rose of Lima”, by Aubrey Beardsley.

According to BeatBooks: The publication prints MacLise’s renaming of every day of the year, some simply assigned a number, but most given poetic names, such as “day of the hearts blood”, “day of the two daughters”, “the shouts from the sea”, and “last day of the autumn feast”. La Monte Young used the calendar to date many of his recordings from the period, including “B-flat Dorian Blues (Fifth Day Of The Hammer)”.

3. Maclise, Angus. THE NEW UNIVERSAL SOLAR CALENDAR
First Edition:
New York: George Maciunas, (1969)
Broadside, 20.5″ x 23.5″. Black calligraphy offset printed on white stock, intricately and elegantly folded as issued.

Note: Similar to MacLise’s earlier “Year,” The New Universal Solar Calendar renames the days of the year, but in this format prints the phrases in his characteristic calligraphic hand, producing a full artwork that actually seems to take itself a bit more seriously than most of the multiples produced by Macianus at the time. [ see Fluxus Codex page 398]

4. Maclise, Angus. THE CLOUD DOCTRINE
First edition:
Kathmandu: Dreamweapon Press, 1974
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 10.75″, 16 pages, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen.

Note: The Cloud Doctrine was one of the first books produced by the Kathmandu beat poetry presses, and set the template for the books issued in this style.

5. Maclise, Angus. THE SUBLIMINAL REPORT
a. First edition:
Kathmandu: Bardo Matrix, 1975
Machine-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 8.5″ x 10.75″, 28 pages, 500 numbered copies, letterpress printed on handmade paper. Cover woodblock print from a photograph by Ira Cohen. Published as Starstreams Poetry Series, No. 4

According to Ira Cohen: The Subliminal Report included two photos printed in silver ink on white machine made paper, one a mylar portrait of Angus taken in New York, the other a stone garuda sinking into the ground in Dhoka Tole just in front of the Raj Photo Shop where the negatives were developed and first printed…There was a very special collaboration going on here between the artists and artisans, Nepalis and foreigners, which was mutually inspiring and gives the books their unique quality. The Subliminal Report was the first book to utilize Bhutanese silk paper as cover stock.

b. First edition, revised facsimile:
New York: SZ Press, 1984

Photocopied reissue printed in advance of the publication of The Map of Dusk, with brief introductory text by John Fallon and Carolyn Betensky.

6. Maclise, Angus. THE MAP OF DUSK
First edition:
New York: SZ Press, 1984
This is the first publication of the poem in full. An excerpted version of The Map of Dusk appeared in a previous publication by Piero Heliczer in 1959. Illustrated with calligraphic drawings by the author. Includes introduction by Ira Cohen.

Angus Maclise

 

 

 


Angus MacLise was a musician, poet, artist, and counterculture figure who was a mainstay of the downtown New York arts scene in the 1960s.


Angus MacLise Checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Periodicals
Section C: Music


· The Dead Language [see also Piero Heliczer]
· Bardo Matrix


Angus MacLise was born in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1938. He studied music and dance before moving to Paris in the late 1950s. In Paris he and his high school friend, avant-garde filmmaker Piero Heliczer, started the Dead Language Press in 1958. The press specialized in poetry and published early works by poets such as Gregory Corso, Olivia de Haulleville, Hendrik Jan Marsman, Anselm Hollo, and others. MacLise also published several of his own poems and manuscripts through the press, including the pamphlet Year that renames all of the days of the year—a convention that MacLise and many of his friends used in dating correspondence or artworks.

MacLise and Heliczer moved back to the United States in the early 1960s, settling in New York and bringing the press with them. In New York, MacLise continued his publishing efforts, while also pursuing music and becoming involved in avant-garde theatrics and performance art pieces. He was a member of the Theater of Eternal Music, started and organized by composer and musician LaMonte Young. He was a regular participant in Fluxus events in New York City and appeared in many experimental films being made by his friends in the downtown arts scene at the time, notably Piero Heliczer and Ira Cohen.

MacLise was a founding member of the Velvet Underground—he was introduced to the band through his roommate John Cale and became the band’s first drummer. Though he helped to found the band, and may have even given it its name, his time with the Velvet Underground was short due to MacLise’s disinterest in creating art for profit or on a schedule dictated by anything other than his own inspiration. He does not appear on any of the band’s recordings.

In 1967 MacLise moved briefly to Berkeley, where he joined the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, a street performance troupe that included the painter and illustrator Hetty McGee. McGee and MacLise were married in Golden Gate Park in a ceremony officiated by Timothy Leary. The two would later have a son, Ossian, who began living in a Tibetan monastery at the age of 4 and was recognized at 7 as a tulku—a reincarnation of a lama.

The couple moved back to New York where MacLise again collaborated with Ira Cohen, scoring and appearing in Cohen’s film The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda.

In 1970 Angus and Hetty began a tour of Asia that ended with their settling in Kathmandu, Nepal. In Nepal, MacLise helped operate the Spirit Catcher Bookshop in Kathmandu which became a gathering place for the growing community of artist and poet expatriates living and working in the area. He founded a literary and poetry journal, Ting Pa, and in 1974 he and Ira Cohen started the Bardo Matrix publishing venture. They published work by MacLise, Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford among others.

During this time he was particularly interested in calligraphic art and works on paper. Much of his own work from his time in Nepal includes calligraphic illustrations in a made-up script. He was working on establishing a handmade paper company, Himalayan Paper, Inc. at the time of his death.

MacLise died in 1979 in Kathmandu, Nepal at the age of 41.


References Consulted:

Dreamweapon: The Art and Life of Angus MacLise 1938-1979
New York: Boo-Hooray, 2011


Online Resources:

Blastitude – Angus MacLise: Master of Synthesis

Columbia University Libraries – Angus MacLise papers

Piero Heliczer – Publications Edited, Printed, and Published

>> return to PIERO HELICZER main page >>

SECTION D:
This index includes publications edited printed, and published by Piero Heliczer and his Dead Language Press


1. Piero Heliczer and Angus MacLise. IMPRIMATUR M.CC.LXXX.I and THE COMPLETED WORKS OF ANGUS MACLISE
First edition:
White Plains: privately printed, 1957
Hand-sewn in printed and illustrated wrappers, 24 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.



2. Om [pseud. Olivia de Haulleville]. MARIA
a. First edition, blue paper:
Paris: Dead Language Press, 1958
Broadside, 6.75″ x 15″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contents: “Maria” [poem]
[not in archive]


b. First edition, white paper:
Paris: Dead Language Press, 1958
Broadside, 5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contents: “Maria” [poem]
[not in archive]

Note: poem written partly in English and partly in French, probably composed in memory of the author’s maternal aunt, and wife of Aldous Huxley, Maria Nys, who died in 1955. (©BeatBooks.com)

3. Om [pseud. Olivia de Haulleville]. LEMURS
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1958
Unbound sheets laid into printed and photo-illustrated wrappers, 11″ x 9″, 6 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. This is the first separate edition of one of three pieces collected in A Pulp Magazine for the Dead Generation.

4. [anthology] A PULP MAGAZINE FOR THE DEAD GENERATION, edited by Piero Heliczer
ph_pulp
a. First edition, green cover:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Three un-boud folded sheets laid into printed wrappers, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Contributors: Om, Henk Marsman, Gregory Corso.

b. First edition, blue cover:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Three un-boud folded sheets laid into printed wrappers, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Photograph of Om affixed to last leaf, as issued.Contributors: Om, Henk Marsman, Gregory Corso.

Note: the book prints “Lemurs” by Om; five poems by Henk Marsman (the Dutch poet, Hendrik Jan Marsman, aka J. Bernlef); and four poems from The Vestal Lady on Brattle and Other Poems by Gregory Corso. Each contribution is preceded by a brief text, Corso’s probably written by Piero Heliczer, the others by the poets themselves. (©BeatBooks.com)

5. THE DEAD LANGUAGE DIXHUIT RUE DESCARTES PARIS
ph_dl1
First edition:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Flyer, 4.5″ x 8.25″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: verso lists Dead Language publications, 1957-1959.

6. PURCELL FESTIVAL M.CM.L.IX
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, 1959
Flyer, 4.5″ x 8.25″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: announces a festival “to be held in paris the second week of july to celebrate henry purcells three hundredth birthday…organised by the dead language”. Text in English and French.

The festival was organised by Piero Heliczer, a keen listener of English baroque, William Byrd as well as Purcell. When he visited Cambridge in early February 1960 as part of Michael Horovitz’s Live New Departures, Heliczer was presented with a viola da gamba by the musicologist and Purcell exponent, Thurston Dart, an instrument that Horovitz remembers Heliczer soon mastered.

Earlier, in June 1959, a petit scandale emerged when Peter Forbes, a British tabloid journalist, visited Heliczer in Paris after hearing of his invitations to English school girls to attend the festival, one of them sent to the headmistress of Queen Anne’s School in Caversham. Forbes’s article appeared in the Sunday Pictorial on June 7 and featured a photograph of Heliczer with Olivia de Haulleville (“A Bohemian young scamp and his girl friend”).

It claimed that Heliczer was offering “to receive groups of girls at a festival in Paris… The girls would pay their own fares, but Heliczer would provide free hotel accomodation.” Forbes added that Heliczer hoped “to get one of his girl guests to act in a play he has written. It features a headless man and a girl who appears naked standing on a tombstone”, and quotes the headmistress as initially having been “quite enthusiastic. Some of the girls had obtained their parents’ consent and were looking forward to the trip. Now, however, we shall unquestionably withdraw. I shall write to Heliczer telling him so.” The article concludes: “Other headmistresses, please copy. And Piero, please drop those crackpot capers. They will land you in real trouble one day.” (©BeatBooks.com)

7. Haulleville, Eric de. MÉLANCHOLIA 1
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 6″ x 4″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

Note: Baron Eric de Haulleville, Olivia’s father, was a Belgian poet and writer who died in France during the second world war, shortly after his daughter’s birth.

8. Tyndall, Thomas. CITY SUMMER NIGHT
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language, nd. (c. 1959)
Postcard, 6″ x 4″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer

9. WHY ARE YOU LOOKING ASKANCE IM JUST TRYING TO SHOUT
a. First edition, cream-colored stock:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 4″ x 6″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

 

b. First edition, orange-colored stock:
Paris: Dead Language, (c. 1959)
Postcard, 4″ x 6″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer.

 

Note: a publicity card printing a short text by Piero Heliczer on his private press (“the only one left which has not been absorbed by those given over to reminiscence”), and listing the titles and prices of its early publications.

10. MacLise, Angus. STRAIGHT FARTHEST BLOOD TOWARDS (OPENING SECTION)
ph_straightFirst edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1959
Single 6.25″ x 22″ sheet folded three times to make six printed pages and a cover, 5.5″ x 6.5″, letterpress printed and with a block print  cover by Piero Heliczer. Angus MacLise’s first publication.

Note: it was after noticing a copy of this title in City Lights Books that La Monte Young first became aware of Angus MacLise. When the latter moved to New York in 1961 they began performing together regularly, and it was through Young that MacLise first met John Cale. (©BeatBooks.com)

11. [anthology] WEDNESDAY PAPER, edited by Piero Heliczer and Angus MacLise
a. First edition, white cover:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (c. 1961)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″,  12 pages, offset printed.  Contributors: Gregory Corso, Cyclops [Lester], Anselm Hollo, Gustav Schiele.

ph_wednesdaya. First edition, pink cover:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (c. 1961)
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 5.5″ x 8.5″,  12 pages, offset printed.  Contributors: Gregory Corso, Cyclops [Lester], Anselm Hollo, Gustav Schiele. This apparent later issue adds the title to Hollo’s poem on the cover.

Note: prints the poems “Song of Stations” by Anselm Hollo and “It Was the Happy Birthday of Death” by Gregory Corso (reputedly included without Corso’s permission). Also features reproductions of a sketch by Egon Schiele (with accompanying texts by him); a holograph letter from Cyclops Lester to Piero Heliczer; a ‘Woman Contest’ (“every two weeks wednesday paper will run photos of the winner and runner up of our quarter moon woman contest”); newspaper clippings; and brief ads. for the Dead Language, New Departures, and “hollands leading litry magazine”, Barbarber. (©BeatBooks.com)

12. MacLise, Angus. YEAR, A WEDNESDAY PAPER SUPPLEMENT
ph_year
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1961
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 12 panels, one for each of the twelve months and an entry for each day, 4.6″ x 9″ (folded), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover illustration, “The Ascension of St. Rose of Lima”, by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: the publication prints MacLise’s renaming of every day of the year, some simply assigned a number, but most given poetic names, such as “day of the hearts blood”, “day of the two daughters”, “the shouts from the sea”, and “last day of the autumn feast”. La Monte Young used the calendar to date many of his recordings from the period, including “B-flat Dorian Blues (Fifth Day Of The Hammer)”. (©BeatBooks.com)

13. Smith, Jack. THE BEAUTIFUL BOOK
ph_beautifulbook
a. First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1962 Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 9″, 20 pages, 200 copies (though it is often claimed that only sixty or so copies were ever completed), letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Includes 19 silver gelatin contact prints (2.25″ x 2.25″), one tipped on to each page: 19 photographs by Jack Smith, and 1 portrait of Jack Smith by Ken Jacobs. Cover art by Marian Zazeela.

b. Facsimile edition, second printing:
New York: Granary Books / Plaster Foundation, 2001
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 7.5″ x 9″, 20 pages, Includes 19 silver gelatin contact prints (2.25″ x 2.25″) made from the original negatives, one tipped on to each page: 19 photographs by Jack Smith, and 1 portrait of Jack Smith by Ken Jacobs. Cover art by Marian Zazeela.

Note: a printed sheet issued with the Granary Books / Plaster Foundation edition in 2001 stated: Noting the scarcity of this title on the rare book market and its absence from many prominent collections (not to mention the chaotic circumstances in which it was produced) it is likely that considerably fewer than 200 books were actually nished and distributed. Jack Smith, Piero Heliczer, and their associates assembled the books during the late spring and early summer of 1962 before shooting began on Smith’s seminal film Flaming Creatures (1963), one of the most notorious underground films of the 1960s, which became a test case of censorship laws.

14. FOLDING CHAIR OF THE PRINTING MASTER, A CATALOG OF ITEMS PRINTED BY THE DEAD LANGUAGE 1963
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, 1963
Saddle-stapled in printed and illustrated wrappers, 4.75″ x 5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: a catalogue of Dead Language editions listing seven publications, each one including the price and pithy comments or quotes. The text ends: “make checks payable to piero heliczer”.

15. Hollo, Anselm. LOVER MAN
ph_lover
First edition:
New York: The Dead Language Press, (1963)

Accordion-bound sheets laid into printed and illustrated wrappers, 6.75″ x 8.75″, 12 pages, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art (“Le Viol”, 1934) by Rene Magritte.

Note: the Folding Chair Dead Language catalog describes the publication as “a very free translation of the lemminkainen cantos of the kalevala” (a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology). (©BeatBooks.com)

16. FOLDING CHAIR OF THE PRINTING MASTER, A CATALOG OF ITEMS PRINTED BY THE DEAD LANGUAGE 1963
First edition:
Paris: The Dead Language Press, 1963
Multiple sheets tape-bound to make a single accordion fold with 8 panels, 4.75″ x 5″, letterpress printed by Piero Heliczer. Cover art by Aubrey Beardsley.

Note: a catalogue of Dead Language editions listing ten publications, with The Beautiful Book, The First Battle of the Marne, and Loverman added to the seven titles listed in the earlier edition, the first two featuring quotes from Ron Rice and Fielding Dawson respectively.

[facsimile at Brown University Library digital repository]

17. [anthology] CORONA SPINARUM: SON OF WEDNESDAY PAPER, OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EMPIRE OF EUROPE & THE PIERO HELICZER FAN CLUB, Vol. 1, No. 1, edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, October 1980
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.75″ x 8.25″, 8 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: prints the abstracts from the first meeting of the Imperial Council, attended by Piero, Bill Levy and Ira Cohen.

18. [anthology] DE VROUWE VAN ALLE VOLKEREN [trans. THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS], edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, 1981
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.75″ x 8.25″, 12 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: includes a map of Amsterdam with numbers encircled of places of importance, a professional horoscope reading (by Ronnie Dreyer),  holy texts of Saints, and  an ad for a marijuana sweepstakes.

19. [anthology] CORONA SPINARUM, No. 3, edited by Piero Heliczer
First edition:
Amsterdam: Piero Heliczer, 1981
Folded and gathered unbound sheets, 5.85″ x 8.3″, 12 pages, photocopy printed.

Note: announces a poetry reading by Heliczer, and prints various texts (on Thomas Beckett, Bernadette Soubirous, Jeanne d’Arc, and Thérèse de Lisieux) in French, Dutch and English.

Piero Heliczer – Film

>> return to PIERO HELICZER main page >>

SECTION C:
This index includes films by Piero Heliczer, with a short section at the end highlighting films that Piero Heliczer appears in


Films by Piero Heliczer: 

1. THE AUTUMN FEAST (1961) [link to Ubu Web]
Format: 8mm, 14 minutes, black and white and color, silent / sound on tape
Writer/Director: Piero Heliczer
Cinematography: Jeff Keen
Cast: Piero Heliczer, Kate Heliczer, Jacqueline Keen and others
Music: Angus MacLise – cembalum, Tony Conrad – mandolin, Piero Heliczer – flute

Note:  a deliberately non-synchronous film, shot in 8mm with the sound on tape. Piero Heliczer reads his poem “The Autumn Feast,” and the visuals interact with, but do not represent what is read.

“A grown up fantasy based on Guy Fawkes Day, the great children’s holiday of England, which is a combination of Halloween and the Fourth of July.” – Piero Heliczer.

“The Autumn Feast lays bare (there should be something that rhymes with hair here or bare there) the mythic structure behind the orange domes and cardboard battlements and gilded gables of our Pasty National Howard Johnsons Baghdad. It rubs the very noses of our mannequins in our mold and sends us spinning into the street – undone and toothless” – Jack Smith

2. THE SOAP OPERA (c. 1964)
Format: 16mm, 13 minutes, silent
Cinematography: Piero Heliczer
Cast: Piero Heliczer, Angus MacLise, Jack Smith, Marian Zazeela, LaMonte Young and others.

“This is basically a documentary on the beginnings of the cultural revolution on the Lower East Side, New York. While finishing this film, Piero Heliczer starred in Jack Smith’s FLAMING CREATURES and later in Bill Vehr’s AVOCADA.” – The Film-Makers Coop

“Also known as THE HOME OPERA and THE PANIC OPERA. At home in a small loft in the early days of the Golden Age of the Lower East Side. With Piero Heliczer, Angus Maclise, Jack Smith, LaMonte Young, Marian Zazeela and others.” – Piero Heliczer.

3. DIRT (1965) [link to Ubu Web]
Format: 8mm, 12 minutes, color/black and white, silent with sound on tape
Writer/Director: Piero Heliczer
Producer: Andy Warhol
Cast: John Cale, Storm De Hirsch, Bobby Driscoll [Nun], Dee Dee Driscoll, Rose Feliu-Pettet [Bride], Charles Henri Ford, Julie Garfield, Kate Heliczer, Sally Kirkland, Gretl Learned, Angus MacLise, Gerard Malanga, Jack Martin, Ann Mattingley, Barbara Maultsby, Jonas Mekas, Mario Montez, Irene Nolan, Bobby Notkoff, Barbara Rubin, Edie Sedgwick, Harry Smith, Jack Smith, Charles Stanley, Andy Warhol, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela
Music: Marc Antoine Charpentier: Kyrie and Credo from the mass, “Assumpta Est Maria”
Filming location: New York City

Note: planned as a three hour epic, but when finished was only 12 minutes: also known as BATH SEQUENCE.

“Two nuns take a bath, then meet a sailor on the Staten Island Ferry. With Irene Nolan, Gretl Learned, Angus Maclise, Mario Montez and others.” – Piero Heliczer.

“Among all the new movies (it has been quiet lately on the underground scene) Piero Heliczer’s Dirt touched me most deeply. Its beauty is very personal and lyrical. And every frame of it is cinema. I can do not justice to this beautiful work in one paragraph. It was shot on 8mm and much of its beauty and its cinema come from 8mm properties of camera and film. It is all motion. Together with Brakhage’s Songs, Branaman’s abstractions and Ken Jackob’s not yet released work, Heliczer’s Dirt is one of the four works that use 8mm film properly and for art’s sake” – Jonas Mekas, Village Voice.

4. THE LAST RITES (1965)

5. SATISFACTION (c. 1965)
Format: 16mm, 10 minutes, color/black and white, silent with sound on tape
Writer/Director: Piero Heliczer
Cinematography: Piero Heliczer
Cast: John Cale, Sally Kirkland [The Nun], Angus MacLise, Gerard Malanga [Flash Gordon], Mario Montez, Irene Nolan [School Girl], Barbara Rubin [The Nun], Jack Smith [God], Frances Stillman [The Nun]
Music: The Rolling Stones (“Satisfaction”)
Sound Engineer: Tony Conrad

“A nun goes to Heaven and arrives there at the same time as Flash Gordon. With Sally Kirkland (as the Nun), Irene Nolan (as the School Girl), Frances Stillman and Barbara Rubin (as Nuns), Gerard Malanga (as Flash Gordon, Jack Smith (as God), Jack Martin, Angus Maclise, Mario Montez, and others.” – Piero Heliczer.

6. VENUS IN FURS (1965)
Format: 16mm, 16 minutes, color, silent with sound on tape
Director: Piero Heliczer
Cinematography: Piero Heliczer
Cast: John Cale, Piero Heliczer, Angus MacLise, Lou Reed, Barbara Rubin, The Velvet Underground
Music: The Velvet Underground (“Heroin”, “Venus in Furs” with Piero Heliczer on saxophone)
Sound Engineer: CBS-TV News

“This companion film to SATISFACTION is set at the opposite solstice and recapitulates part of DIRT. With Julie Garfield and Barbara Rubin (as Nuns), Chas Stanley (as Death), Margaret Boyce Cam (as the Nurse), Lou Reed, John Cale, Angus Maclise and others. A chess game under the bridge becomes a party in Hell. A must for lepidopterists.” – Piero Heliczer.

7. JOAN OF ARC
Format: 16mm, 11.5 minutes, color, silent with sound on tape
Cast: Arnold Rockwood (as the Policeman), Jack Smith (as LBJ), Rene Ricard, Ira Cohen, Wm. de Vore, Gerard Malanga, Tuli Kupferberg (as Bonnie Prince Charlie), Jose Rodriguez Soltero (as the Priest), Angus MacLise, Irene Nolan (as Marlene Dietrich), Chas Henry Ford, Jane Waldren, Wendy Norins, Andy Warhol, and many others
Music: Tony Conrad

“The story of Joan of Arc as applied to the present revolution in arts and mores. The Gothic is applied to the War in Vietnam. The film is experimental in the sense that in it the visual becomes tactile. With Arnold Rockwood (as the Policeman), Jack Smith (as LBJ), Rene Richard, Ira Cohen, Wm. de Vore, Gerard Malanga, Tuli Kupferberg (as Bonnie Prince Charlie), Jose Rodriguez-Soltero (as the Priest), Chas. Henri Ford, Jane Waldren, Wendy Norins and many others.” – Piero Heliczer.

8. THE STONE AGE
Format: 16mm, 24 minutes, color/black and white, silent with sound on tape
Cast: Tom Raworth, Mary and Gudmundur Gudmunsson Erro, Agneta Freiberg, Jane Fagin, Michael Malce, Francois le Coeur, Jackie Curtis, Viva, Michal Auder, Terence Ork, Mario Anniballi, Jud & Jeni Yalkut, Marion Brown, Mossa Bildner, Dexter Kelly, Betsy Greenstein, Gerorge Whitman, Alferdo Leonardi, Patti-Lee Chenis, Cornelia Wessels, Joseph Arak, Jose Rodriguez-Soltero, Rolando Pena, Suzanne de Maria, Lohr Wilson, Jerry Benjamin, Jack Smith (as Casanova), Michael Snow (as Aristotle), Gerard Malanga (as Orfeo) and many others
Music: Claudio Monteverdi (“Orfeo – Act III”)

9. HARUNOBU
Format: 8mm, 5 minutes, color, silent with sound on tape
Cast: Antoine Perich and others

“The action takes place in a pissoir in june/1958 the weather is very good every now and then it/ rains very hard at night there is lightning in/ the day time bright sun without rain bows the / day is bright as urine/ some of the action takes place on the outer/ surface of the pissoir shell/ harunobu wears a white noh mask and/ reddish black wig her japanese dress is white/ lack and red like a st raphael advertisement/ jean sebastien bach/ gregory shaxper/ with antoine perich and others.” – Piero Heliczer.

10. BESSIE SMITH (1967)
Format: 16mm, 6 minutes, color, silent with sound on tape

“Photographed by gerard malanga in the subways of new york (actually the set of the blue centaur left over from the economy cutbacks at mgm and paramount/ joseph smith; patti lee chenis/ barrabas son to joseph smith: bill iwata/ captain john smith/ captain smiths band white masks mustaches armored round quattrocento helmets/ angel black face wears a checkered ginham dress/ band of angels/ johann sebastian back wears a wig in blackface looks a lot like george washington two fingers of his left hand are missing/ bessie smith: lily ocasio/ joseph smith and barabbas smith are played by one man preferably buster keaton/ angel and bach are played by one man preferably django reinhardt/ captain smiths band is played by the band of angels.” – Piero Heliczer.

11. THE NAKED LUNCH (1968)
Format: 1/4″ magnetic tape, 30 minutes

“A film for tape recorder no projector needed/ sound by wm burroughs.” – Piero Heliczer.

12. ST. THERESE DE L’ENFANT JESUS
Format: 16mm, 40 minutes, black and white, silent

13. ROBIN HOOD
Format: 16mm, 39.5 minutes, black and white, silent


Film with Appearances by Piero Heliczer: 

1. BENGASI (1942)
Director: Augusto Genina
Writers: Edoardo Anton, Ugo Betti, Alessandro De Stefani, Augusto Genina
Piero Heliczer (as Sandrino Berti (aka “Pucci”))

2. ACQUE DI PRIMAVERA (1942)
Director: Nunzio Malasomma
Writers: Nunzio Malasomma, Sergio Pugliese
Piero Heliczer (as “un altro bambino”)

3. FLAMING CREATURES (1963)
Format: 16mm, 45 minutes, black and white, mono
Writer/Director: Jack Smith
Cinematography: Jack Smith
Cast: Francis Francine (as himself), Sheila Bick (as Delicious Dolores), Joel Markman (as Our Lady of the Docks), Mario Montez (as The Spanish Girl (aka Dolores Flores)), Arnold Rockwood (as Arnold), Judith Malina (as The Fascinating Woman), Marian Zazeela (as herself), Beverly Grant (as Whirling Dervish), Piero Heliczer (as himself)
Music: Tony Conrad
Filming Location: New York City

“An experimental film that features graphic sexual imagery, an earthquake, and a lipstick commercial.”

4. COUCH (1964)
Format: 16mm, 54 minutes, black and white, silent
Director: Andy Warhol
Producer: Andy Warhol
Cast: Bingingham Birdie, Rufus Collins, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Kate Heliczer, Pierre Helzicer, Jane Holzer, Jack Kerouac, Mark Lancaster, Joseph LeSeuer, Naomi Levine, Gerard Malanga, Taylor Mead, Billy Name (as Billy Linich), Ivy Nicholson, Ondine, Peter Orlovsky, John Palmer, Amy Taubin, Gloria Wood

The couch at Andy Warhol’s Factory was as famous in its own right as any of his Superstars. In Couch, visitors to the Factory were invited to “perform” on camera, seated on the old couch. Their many acts-both lascivious and mundane-are documented in a film that has come to be regarded as one of the most notorious of Warhol’s early works. Across the course of the film we encounter such figures as poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, the writer Jack Kerouac, and perennial New York figure Taylor Mead.

5. SCREEN TEST(1965)
Format: 16mm, 3 minutes, black & white, silent
Director/Producer: Andy Warhol
Cinematography: Gerard Malanga

Piero Heliczer, dressed in a broad-brimmed black hat and high collar, is placed in front of a plastic sheeting. He slowly smokes a cigarette, occasionally blowing a smoke ring. Towards the end of the roll he smiles, closes his eyes and sticks his tongue out at the camera

Note:between 1964 and 1966 Andy Warhol made about 500 different Screen Tests of various personalities who visited his atelier Factory.

6. BROTHEL (1966)
Format: 16mm, 45 minutes, color, mono
Director/Writer: Bill Vehr
Producer: Bill Vehr
Cinematrography: Bill Vehr
Cast: Mario Montez, Jack Smith, Piero Heliczer, Tosh Carillo, Francis Francine

Brothel is a 45-minute color film starring Mario Montez, Jack Smith, Piero Heliczer, Tosh Carillo, and Francis Francine. Filmmaker Carl Linder was particular taken with Vehr’s film, describing the film’s protagonist as “neo-romantic, Beardsley-esque phantoms from an Oscar Wilde garden.”

7. HOMEO (1967) [link to Dailymotion]
Format: 16mm, 38 minutes, color
Director: Étienne O’Leary
Cast: Michel Asso, Michel Auder, Yves Beneyton, Dennis Berry, Juliet Berto, Margareth Clémenti, Pierre Clémenti, Francis Conrad (as Konrad), Billy Copley, François De Menil, Barbara Girard, Michèle Giraud, Piero Heliczer, Nicole Laguigner, Taylor Mead

O’Leary’s second film is a disjointed collage of beautifully shot footage: cityscapes, signs and billboards, nudes and cameos by other French actors/filmmakers of the day.

8. NO PRESIDENT (1967)
Format: 16mm, 50 minutes, black and white
Director: Jack Smith
Cast: Tally Brown, Tosh Carillo, Doris Desmond, Charles Henri Ford (as Lady Dracula), Bill Fortenberry, Francis Francine, Piero Heliczer, Donna Kerness, Nancy King, Robert Lavigne, Gerard Malanga, Joel Markman, Gay Martini, Mario Montez, Irving Rosenthal

Note: original title was “The Kidnapping of Wendell Willkie by the Love Bandit”

Piero Heliczer

Piero Heliczer on Rue Mouffetard in Paris circa 1961. © by Harold Chapman

Piero Giorgio Heliczer (June 20, 1937 in Rome, Italy – July 22, 1993 in Préaux-du-Perche, France) was an Italian-American writer, screenwriter, poet, actor, publisher and underground filmmaker.


Piero Heliczer Checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Periodicals
Section C: Film
Section D: Publications Edited, Printed, and Published
Section E: Ephemera
Section F: Biography and Bibliography


· Olivia de Haulleville [coming soon…]
· Angus Maclise [coming soon…]


Heliczer moved to Paris in 1957, where he established his imprint The Dead Language press, publishing his own poetry and later, work by authors Anselm Hollo, Gregory Corso, Jack Smith, and others.

In the 1960s, Heliczer moved from Paris to London to New York, and, during that time, made his first film in collaboration with fledgling British filmmaker Jeff Keen (The Autumn Feast [1961]). Back in New York in 1962, Heliczer fell in with the crowd that was buzzing around Andy Warhol’s Factory, appearing as an actor in Jack ph_flyer_presSmith’s Flaming Creatures and in several of Warhol’s films. Heliczer had obtained his own camera by 1964 and began to make films in standard 8 mm, the smallest and least expensive of home-movie gauges. Although he sometimes blew his films up to 16 mm, Heliczer was one of only a few underground filmmakers in New York at the time to work with so-called “regular 8” as his primary tool. His films are similar to Smith’s in their inspired lunacy, primitive technical quality, heavy doses of anti-Catholic sentiment, and alternative sexuality. Heliczer’s film Satisfaction so enraged one moviegoer at the Filmmaker’s Cinematheque in 1965 that he knocked the projector over and attacked a couple of his fellow patrons. 

Heliczer usually shot his films silent and added sound on tape; in fact, his “screen adaptation” of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch in 1968 is “a film for tape recorder, no projector needed.” But, in some instances, Heliczer used live musicians to provide a soundtrack to his films, and ph_flyer_firstrushesone ad hoc group playing behind the screen at a Heliczer installation entitled The Launching of the Dream Weapon in early 1965 changed its name later that year to the Velvet Underground. In November, Heliczer had the Velvet Underground perform on the set of his film Venus in Furs and this shooting was filmed by a CBS News crew for an episode of Walter Cronkite Presents entitled “The Making of an Underground Film,” which was, in part, a profile of Piero Heliczer and turned out to be the only network television exposure for both the band and the filmmaker.

Heliczer made about 17 films which are now either lost or held in a variety of places, and no more than a third of them are in circulation. His publications are equally rare; for some pamphlets, there are no known extant copies. In 2001, poet Gerard Malanga was able to assemble what was retrievable of Heliczer’s literary works into a handsome volume entitled A Purchase in the White Botanica (Granary Books). Hopefully, a similar treatment of his films will not be far behind.


References Consulted:

Andrew Sclanders,  BeatBooks.com catalogues 71 and 86

EMPIRE OF EUROPE
Alençon: Les Bains-Douches, 2015
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer” curated by Rose & Wynn Heliczer, and Sophie Vinet held at Les Bains-Douches.

Harter, Christopher. AN AUTHOR INDEX TO LITTLE MAGAZINES OF THE MIMEOGRAPH REVOLUTION
Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2008

LITTLE CAESAR, No. 9, edited by Gerard Malanga
Los Angeles: Dennis Cooper, 1979

PIERO HELICZER: L’UNDERGROUND À PRÉAUX-DU-PERCHE
Alençon: Les Bains-Douches, 2015
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer” curated by Rose & Wynn Heliczer, and Sophie Vinet held at Les Bains-Douches.

PIERO HELICZER & THE DEAD LANGUAGE PRESS
NY: Boo-Hooray, 2014
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Piero Heliczer & The Dead Language Press” curated by Jonas Mekas and Johan Kugelberg held at
Boo-Hooray.


Online Resources:

·  Discogs – discography
·  The Film-Makers’ Cooperative – film
· Independent – obituary
· Mimeo-Mimeo – bibliography
· Mubi -film
· Piero Heliczer Web Page – bibliography
· UBU – film