Henri Chopin was a French avant garde musician, concrete / visual and sound poet, critic and publisher of the Revue OU – one of the most influential music publications of the 21st century.
Born in Paris in 1922 but deported to Germany in 1943, Chopin spent periods in prison and in hiding before being repatriated, and subsequently enlisted as a solider to fight the Nazis. In the 1960s in Paris he worked as a radio and television producer, but left after the failure of the student-worker uprisings of May 1968 and, moving to England, settled in Essex.
First published in 1958 the review ‘Cinquième Saison’ became ‘Revue OU’ in 1964 and ran until 1974. Under Chopin’s editorship OU published original works by figures in the Dada, Surrealist, Lettriste, Fluxus and Beat Poetry movements as well as works by innovators in concrete poetry. Those contributing both articles, original artworks, prints and sound pieces to OU included Francois Dufrene, Bertini, Raymond Hains, William Burroughs, Byren Gyson, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Raoul Haismann, Bob Cobbing and many others as well as Chopin himself. After issue 33 of ‘Cinquième Saison’ Chopin often included records of new and old material and, in deluxe copies of the journal, also included signed artworks by the same contributors who created the music Chopin championed.
This chance to both see rare copies of the deluxe journals (with their allied artworks) and to hear the recordings from the records released with OU is thanks to the dogged collecting instincts of the French composer Frederic Acquaviva who was a friend of Chopin’s and who has created this near complete collection of Revue OU which we are
privileged to exhibit at Summerhall for the first time anywhere in the world.
Curated by Frederic Acquaviva and Paul Robertson