Brion Gysin: His Name Was Master
Painter and author Brion Gysin (1916–86) has become an incredibly influential artist and iconoclast. His development of the “cut-up” technique together with William S. Burroughs has inspired several generations of writers, artists and musicians. Gysin was also a skilled networker and revered expat; together with his friend Paul Bowles, Gysin more or less constructed the post-beatnik romanticism dealing with life, music and magic in Morocco. He was also a protagonist in an international gay culture with inspirational reaches in both America and Europe. Not surprisingly, Gysin has become something of a cult figure.
One of the artists he inspired is Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (1950-2020), who collaborated with both Gysin and Burroughs in the 1970s and 80s, while working with avant garde music/performance projects Throbbing Gristle and C.O.U.M. Transmissions. The Gysin interviews made by P-Orridge have since become part of a New Wave/Industrial Culture mythos. This volume presents them in their entirety alongside three texts about Gysin by P-Orridge, plus additional material by editor Andrew M McKenzie, photographer/filmmaker Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, and authors Jon Savage, Kathelin Gray, Paul “Bee” Hampshire, and Carl Abrahamsson.
Brion Gysin: His Name Was Master is an exclusive and evocative insight into the mind of a man P-Orridge describes as “a kind of Leonardo da Vinci of the last century,” and a fantastic complement to existing biographies and monographs.
“I wanted this book to be for you, as near as possible, what being there was like for me. Cassettes don’t have the smells, the ambient noise, the creak of a chair, the metronomic counting of his hash pipe gulps, strangely almost no phone interruptions (indicating how times change), Moroccan spices, Moroccan music in the background. Brion’s infectious laughter, his coughing fits. Then there is the serious thoughts, the bitchy remarks, the social gossip, the plans for the evening at La Palace where he had a space reserved for ‘Mister Brion.’ Please be there now. I hope that you feel for a moment or two, or three, that you can picture him, all of us, entranced, spellbound, bewitched by this amazing raconteur. This medium, this wizard, Occultist extraordinaire. Inventor of the dreamachine, still slowly moving towards its day of full recognition, this dearly beloved friend and inspiration. Above all else that: beloved friend.”
– Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Trapart Books, 2023, 378 pages, illustrated. Available in paperback, hardback and e-book editions.
Please note: we have made a special ”bundle” available, consisting of one copy of the hardbound edition of the book and one copy of an exquisite print of a classic Gysin portrait. The photo was taken in Basel in 1981 by Swedish-German photographer Ulrich Hillebrand. We have made the print available in an edition of 30 hand-numbered copies, signed by the photographer in verso. Trapart Books aficionados will recognize the image as the cover image of the first edition of BRION GYSIN: HIS NAME WAS MASTER (2017). 210 x 297 mm, archival 300 g paper.
Please note: The print is also available as a singular item. Please see ART/EDITIONS – PHOTOGRAPHY.