Letter to Flor Bex (The Giant)
Letter, 158 x 177 cm.
Materials: Inkt op gouden papier
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community (Inv. no. BK7670_M425).
Letter-writing is an essential part of James Lee Byars’ work. It is an expression of the artist as a drifter and of the work of art as a fleeting occurrence. This golden giant too is portrayed in Byars’ mysterious handwriting, where the corners of each character are embellished with small stars. His letters comprise a whole arsenal of materials ranging from very exclusive types of Japanese and Chinese paper to ordinary sheets of hotel writing paper, tissues and toilet paper. The unusual shapes, such as we see in this very minimalist giant, sometimes assume gigantic proportions or, indeed, minutely small shapes so that we are confronted with a creativity that is visually stimulating and rich. The colour of The Giant has a striking intensity. Byars regards gold as the most abstract manifestation of the sublime. ‘Gold’, Byars once wrote, ‘has such a degree of abstraction that when you use it artistically you already find it is at a sublime level’. Furthermore, it is the reflection of the sun and of the ultimate light. Shortly after creating this work in 1976, Byars introduced this form into Antwerp on a colossal scale. A 245-metre colossus in black tulle, and since known as The Antwerp Giant, was rolled out on the Meir as part of his exhibition in the International Cultural Centre.
Within moments I become Germanys most serious philosopher with the positive prejudice of Kant Heg. and Hus the Un. of Essen loves my Bl Book The First Totally Interrogative Philosophy (It is a true Ghost Philosophy being only question) so perf for Germ to rage question as maximum reality (the Gho. Phi.) All of your knowledge is context with Que how benevolent wish me luck they will publish the new Black Book with perforated text for television performance of the one sentence (I already have an oral tutor for Plato) I speak Totally positive no one says german anymore. A new sub-Rosa exists an intellectual Flag or literary (it sho be the First Flag) after the [swastika] its only a small gold flag. It says fut out suppose to encourage international inventions such Energy of everybody fut [?] means everything How abo the simple presup. Everyth.s Poss: esp.C I Love the faster form. Don’t you. F Take everything out of our gorgeous red rooms on the last night of the show get 100 guests and the show is of is of a mass invention like the umbrella don’t you love me speaking in the future perfect past tense please just read this letter with your back to the audience or in each room but stand in front of a mirror. Please on 13 at 8 PM I’d like to be on the telephone Listening to the show 02 12 4*56478 Love B BB
Media View all
'The Giant' during the performance 'The extra-terrestrial man (The Black Giant of Antwerp), I.C.C., Antwerp, Belgium, 1976.
Events View all
James Lee Byars / Extra T...
15 May 1976 - 13 June 1976.
Extra Terrestrial is the first exhibition where an official institute displays such a large number of documents, objects and performances by
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
The collection XXXIII – T...
07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013.
The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; th
James Lee Byars: The Perf...
05 October 2018 - 20 January 2019.
The nomadic performance and installation artist James Lee Byars (Detroit 1932 - Cairo 1997) challenged the post-war art world with a poetic a
Ensembles View all
JAMES LEE BYARS ENSEMBLE
The international renowned American artist James Lee Byars has a remarkable relationship with the M HKA. From the seventies onward he worked
SPIRITUAL FORM The idea of Spiritual Form emerged from discussing the work of Philippe Van Snick, Stephen Antonakos and Jame