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Video: Guy de Cointet at Tate Modern

by Guy de Cointet on 30 June 2005

SHOWstudio captured a performance of Tell Me (1979), a play by Guy de Cointet at the Tate Modern.

The late Guy de Cointet is a figure central to the largely un-mined conceptual performance movement of three decades ago, an artist who expounded a kind of Surrealist theatre of the absurd which employed a very succinct and beautiful way of making structural linguistics visible. The artist himself described his stage performances thus:

"What I like is the texture of the characters interacting with the objects and shapes and feeling completely at ease with them. . . . The audience sees arrangements and piles of painted geometric forms. During the course of my plays these forms are talked about and their identities revealed. After the audience discovers what everything is, sometimes they’re even more confused."

French born, Cointet moved to the states in the late 1960s, briefly becoming one of Warhol's Factory visitors in New York, before settling in Los Angeles. His work was well regarded in his lifetime, and remained influential long after his death (in 1983), particularly to west coast practitioners such as Mike Kelley and Allen Ruppersberg.

SHOWstudio captured a performance of Tell Me (1979), a play by Guy de Cointet at the Tate Modern.

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