Members of Leeds Surrealist Group are participating in the exhibition ‘The Little Shop of Magic’, organised by Wedgwood Steventon, in Gallery 116, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Mike Peters 1947 – 2015
We are very sad to have to report the loss of our friend and comrade, Mike Peters, who died of heart failure on the morning of Wednesday, 3rd June. Mike had been a member of the Leeds Surrealist Group since 2005, but a long-time conspirator and fellow traveller before then; indeed, since our group was formed in 1994. Some of us knew him as an editor of and contributor to the influential Here & Now magazine; others as students at the institution in whose side he had been a thorn; and still others simply as a welcome critical presence in the political life of those radical milieus growing up outside Socialist or Anarchist orthodoxies.
A man whose creativity was rarely burdened by convention, Mike could always be relied upon to approach Surrealism as something grounded as much in humour as in poetic and intellectual enquiry. Indeed, despite occasionally doing battle with his own black dogs, he was the most stridently anti-miserablist of us all.
For a couple of years after joining the group, Mike would complain that he was unable to encounter ‘found objects’. One day, for reasons never elaborated, the dam burst and our meetings became coves where vast quantities of flotsam would collect after drifting in on Mike’s tide. Many of these objects would result in fascinating processes of collective enquiry, whilst others would exert a glamour upon him so mysteriously subjective that it would be almost impossible for the rest of us to penetrate. It is pleasing to think of the mixture of pride and child-like wonder that characterised him in this period, and the particular joyous and very honest vulnerability that Mike would bring to the group, challenging the rest of us to meet it. Yet, even in the context of such generosity, we all of us should have liked decades more in which to further appreciate the complex aggregation of compulsions, desires, plans, and peccadilloes of which our friend was composed.
72 pages • B5 format • ISSN 1755-0009
texts, poems, images, collective games on the theme of
THE ONEIRIC CITY
for full details see the Surrealist Editions website
LEEDS SURREALIST GROUP will have a Surrealist Editions table at this year’s International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair on Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March at The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, with a launch event from 6pm on Friday, 6th March.
Leeds Surrealist Group will be participating in an international exhibition organized by La Liaison Surréaliste à Montréal at Gallerie Espace, 4844 Boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, Quebec, running from 5th to 17th June 2014.
Further information can be found here Surréalisme Montréal.
“How can even the most powerful kaleidoscope reflect all the shimmerings that are enameled upon the multicoloured flesh of these vast lands that desire reveals to us? And from the core of this fire we’ll be able to melt under the magnetic characteristics of its inflorescence? It is carried by the mark of its teeth, and by the pressure of its lips, that we will feverishly abandon ourselves to its vertigo; but how could we preserve such an enchantment, while Reason wastes its energy in eating away at any real life force, making us abandon what makes each individual a wholly unique being, capable of evoking the voluptuous aims of Love and Liberty?!”
– from the introductory text to the exhibition catalogue
LEEDS SURREALIST GROUP will have a Surrealist Editions table at this year’s International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair on Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th March at The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, with a launch event from 6pm on Friday, 7th March.
With contributions from members of Leeds Surrealist Group, What Will Be, a 528-page almanac of the international surrealist movement is now available from Lulu here.
Published by Brumes Blondes in the Netherlands and edited by Her De Vries and Laurens Vancrevel, it contains essays, poems, texts & images, from over 170 contributors from 25 countries, in English, French & Spanish, as well as a chronology of the last 50 years of surrealism, 1964-2014.
We are not artists and have no interest in art markets or in the art-world career paths that are often, in their miserable conformism and conservatism, barely distinguishable from those of accountants, solicitors, managers, entrepreneurs, etc., and their self-promotional social networking, their competitiveness, their curricula vitae. Neither do we have any trust in so-called ‘politically engaged art’, nor its twin, ‘anti-art’ (sometimes masquerading as ‘post-art’), which, despite the pseudo-theoretical objections of its hapless practitioners, has no less a symbiotic relationship with the political and economic élite as its more openly capitalist counter-part.
However, individually and collectively, we create things (and situations) that sometimes very closely resemble ‘art works’ to the point that they converge and might even be considered as such. Indeed, taking into account the risk of mistaken identities, and accusations of flagrant self-contradiction, we are nonetheless prepared to make use of art galleries and exhibitions whenever it suits our purposes of communicating surrealist evidence. We remain indifferent as to whether what we produce (more often than not by-products of a surrealist activity or investigation) is considered as ‘art’ or not; this is really of no concern to us – philosophically, aesthetically, morally, or otherwise – and we feel no requirement to provide any justification, explanation or contextualisation.
LEEDS SURREALIST GROUP
Gareth Brown, Kenneth Cox, Jan Drabble, Bill Howe, Josie Malinowski, Sarah Metcalf, Peter Overton, Mike Peters, Martin Trippett
30th April 2013