Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chris Gray - Leaving the 20th Century

Co-editor of the magazine Heatwave and active member of the English situationist King Mob and editor the influential introduction to situationist ideas, Leaving the Twentieth Century, has died.
A lengthy obituary by his comrade and lifelong friend Charlie Radcliffe appears on:

"Though Chris’s bourgeois background seemed superficially akin to mine our experiences were different. While I had protested with the Committee of 100 in England, he had travelled extensively. Hanging out in Tangiers and Paris’ Beat Hotel, Chris had met and knew several of the leading lights of the cultural avant-garde now burgeoning into an élite within the then new ‘counter-culture’. While my past included a veritable mishmash of ill-digested influences – largely ‘Beat’, anarchist and then surrealist – he was a cultural dissident, led into the ‘new politics’ by an initial interest in the angry young men. By now, however, he had read Antonin Artaud, had pronounced ideas on the Surrealists and Dada-ists as well as on art and anti-art. He was scathing about all avant-garde art – except Dada and to a more limited extent Surrealism. He was equally utterly contemptuous of hippie culture – “the latest slave ideology imported from America” he called it..."