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Bill Jubobe: Bob Cobbing

19.11.2014 – 19.12.2014

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Private view: 18th November 2014 6:00–8.30pm


Bob Cobbing reading Are Your Children Safe in the Sea
Bob Cobbing reading 'Are Your Children Safe in the Sea' c. 1966-1972,
photograph: John Bennett

Concrete poet, arts organiser, publisher and printmaker Bob Cobbing (1920-2002) is best known for his performed works in which language is anarchically stretched and dismantled through the deployment of shouts, groans and hisses, interspersed between recognisable tracts of spoken word. He also made innumerable publications and prints, visual scores that blur the distinction between decipherable text and abstract imagery, making use of typography, image and found texts, and using the typewriter, printing press, screen print, photocopier and computer to replicate, destroy and remake.

Bill Jubobe highlights the interrelation between Cobbing’s live performance and his experiments on paper, considering the two as inseparable. The exhibition presents rarely seen footage of his live performances from the 1970s until his death, alone and with Birdyak (Lol Coxhill, Jennifer Pike and Hugh Metcalfe). Publications of his anthologies, released under his prolific Writers Forum imprint, are available for visitors to leaf through, and graphic posters announcing his innumerable performances cover the walls.

The exhibition’s title is an excerpt from a line written by Cobbing's friend and collaborator François Dufrene, "Bob jubile et, bien sur, à la langue, Bill jubobe": a tongue-twister that stresses the material presence of written and performed language in Cobbing’s work, casting Cobbing himself as the anagrammatic protagonist. Cobbing liked the quote so much that in 1976 he used it as the title for one of his books.

Intensely collaborative, Cobbing worked with many outstanding figures of the international sound and poetry scenes of the 1960s and 1970s, including Dom Sylvester Houédard, Henri Chopin, Allen Ginsberg, Jeff Nuttall, Paula Claire, and his wife Jennifer Pike. In the mid 1960s he was the manager of Better Books on Charing Cross Road, London, helping to make it an important centre for performance and publishing. During his time there, the bookshop hosted events as part of the Destruction in Art Symposium (1966) as well as being the headquarters for the emergent London Filmmakers Co-op, co-founded by Cobbing.


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Bill Jubobe is curated by William Cobbing and Rosie Cooper, and is part of Bob Jubilé: a year-long series of events and displays that explore and present the legacy of Bob Cobbing, culminating in a publication with Occasional Papers.

Bob Jubilé is supported by the Arts Council, Elephant Trust, Henry Moore Foundation, The Estate of Barry Flanagan and the Exhibition Research Centre, Liverpool. http://www.bobjubile.org

Public Programme: Artist and musician Benedict Drew will present a specially commissioned live performance responding to Cobbing’s oeuvre. This will take place on Thursday 18 December, 2014 at the Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Arts. More details to be announced.

As with each exhibition at CHELSEA space, a new illustrated publication will accompany the show.

Press Information
For further information, images or to discuss interviews please contact:
Karen Di Franco or Sinead Cullen at CHELSEA space
via email info@chelseaspace.org or tel: 020 7514 6983

Notes to Editors
Images and further information are available upon request
About: CHELSEA space is a public exhibiting space, sited on the Millbank campus of Chelsea College of Arts, where invited art and design professionals are encouraged to work on experimental curatorial projects. See: www.chelseaspace.org
• In copy please refer to CHELSEA space and not ‘The Chelsea space.’
Gallery opening times: Wednesday-Friday 11am-5pm
Private view: 18th November 2014, 18:00 – 20.30
Admission: FREE

Chelsea College of Arts is one of the world’s leading art and design institutions. Located at Millbank, next door to Tate Britain, Chelsea specialises in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Interior and Textiles Design. Since its origins in the 19th century, the College has produced many of the greatest names in the arts, including: Quentin Blake (illustrator and author) Ralph Fiennes (film and stage actor), AnishKapoor (sculptor), Steve McQueen, (artist), Chris Ofili (artist), Alan Rickman (film and stage actor), Alexei Sayle (comedian) and Gavin Turk (sculptor).

Operating at the heart of the world’s creative capital, University of the Arts London is a vibrant international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts. The University is made up of six Colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Art. Renowned names in the cultural and creative sectors produced by the University include 12 Turner prize winners and over half of all nominees, 10 out of 17 fashion designers named British Designer of the Year, more than half of the designers showcased in London Fashion Week and 12 out of 30 winners of the Jerwood Photography Award.




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Bob Cobbing

Bob Cobbing, ‘Destruction in Art’, print, 1966