The Institute of Contemporary Arts presents the first UK exhibition dedicated to the American writer Kathy Acker (1947–1997), and her written, spoken and performed work.
Acker is an exceptional figure in late-20th-century Western literature who moved between the avant-garde art and literary scenes of New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Paris and London. Her work traversed the intersections between conceptual art and poetry of the 1960s and 70s, the postmodernist linguistic deconstructions of the 1980s, and the nascent posthuman aesthetics of the 1990s. Through her prolific writing, Acker developed experimental textual methodologies as she distorted language, hybridised fiction and autobiography, introduced maps, drawings and diagrams, and ‘plagiarised’ the work of other authors.
I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker addresses ‘Kathy Acker’ as a still-unfolding cultural force, focusing on the uniquely diverse and disruptive character of the author’s work and persona. This polyvocal and expansive project combines an exhibition with a programme of performances, screenings and talks. Key aspects of her work are presented, while also highlighting her influence on artists and writers working today, particularly those occupying an area of contemporary practice that traverses the written and spoken word, performance and digital media, and who share deep connections to Acker’s methodologies and her politics of literature.
I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker will run from 30 April – 4 August. A full programme of participants and activity will be announced in April.
Naila Scargill is the publisher and editor of horror journal Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance.