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21 Nov 2019

The Salt, the Oil: Bill Burns

Bill Burns, The Salt Mine, 2019

The Salt, the Oil, an exhibition and radio programme


Opening on Thursday,
November 21, 6:00--8:30 PM until Dececember 7, Thursday, Friday
Saturday 12-6
Radio Programme Friday,
Nov 29 at 1:00 PM Resonance FM 104.4 London

Tanya Peixoto

17 Pitfield Street
London N1

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The Salt, the Oil, and a selection of books.

We are delighted to present Bill Burns' books, drawings and ephemera about animals, global trade and art. Books and ephemera on show will include Mr Burns projects with Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne; KW, Berlin; ICA, London: Black Dog Publishing, London; YYZ BOOKS, Toronto; Mark Petzinger Verlag, Vienna; 303 Gallery, New York; and William English Books, London.

Mr Burns describes his current long duration performance project 'The Salt, the OIl' as follows:

First a trip of goats is acquired. We set off from Argentina for England, then Greece, then Egypt, followed by Lebanon, Georgia, Turkey and Slovenia before returning to Canada. It goes something like this but it is still a work in progress. After the business of arranging and transporting our trip of goats from Argentina to England and Greece we trade them for a load of raw honey. By and by we depart Greece, with two container loads of honey, bound for Egypt. After receiving our moorage assignment at Alexandria we haggle for several days finally reaching a deal for the exchange of honey for crude oil. Once we have made a honey for oil swap we arrange shipping through changeable waters toward Lebanon. Now in Beirut, we exchange the crude oil for olives. From Beirut we conduct ourselves through swarms of traffic toward the Bosphorus passing through by barge and tug then continuing to the Black Sea port of Anaklia in Georgia. Sliding into a slip at Anaklia we start to negotiate a trade of olives for timber. We hurtle back toward Turkey with an impressive load of timber. We barter for tree nuts and black pepper. Our load of nuts and peppercorns is now bound by truck for Slovenia where we trade for sheep. From Trieste we transport the sheep back to England by sea and rail then on to Halifax Nova Scotia where we trade the sheep for bees. This cycle can be repeated.

Mr Burns and his sound work will be featured on Wavelength hosted by William English on Friday November 29 on Resonance Radio FM 104.4 London.

About Bill Burns

The work of Bill Burns has been the subject of solo exhibitions at KW, Berlin; ICA, London; 303 Gallery, New York; Mendes Wood, Sao Paulo; C4 Contemporary, Los Angeles; Mulherin+Pollard, New York; Galerie Chantal Boulanger, Montreal, Atelier Amden, Switzerland, MOCA, Toronto, Wellcome Trust, London, among others. Burns' group exhibition projects include those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Buchholz und Schipper, Cologne; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Daviet-Thiery, Paris; Malania Basarab Gallery, London; Curitiba Bienal, Curitiba, Brazil; Parker's Box, New York; Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul; Tensta Konsthalle, Stockholme; Mulherin+Pollard, New York; The Art Museum, Toronto; El Basilisco, Buenos Aires; Bienale de St Etienne, St Etienne; Flag Art Foundation, New York; Bienal de Ascuncion, Paraguay and others.

The artist thanks the Canada Council for the Arts for its generous support for this project. Some works in this project were also produced with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council.