The work of Jeff Keen is a conflagration of Eternal Delight. Beauty convulsed in howling laughter and violence. It makes all other experimental film look like an advert for mouthwash, it makes Futurism look like Master Chef, it makes Surrealism look like Hymns Ancient And Modern Revised, makes Dada look like ITSELF IN FLAMES, Fluxus look like a knitting pattern, Bunuel look like a flatulent GP prescribing "rest".
Meanwhile his utter refusal to colour within the pre-drawn lines of Quality Artwork, his insistence that his watercolour pads full of scribbles are the real information, heretically puts the "lightening point where the nervous tic, the muscular surge, & the imagination fight it out" at the centre of everything: and fuck the RESULTS. "Do half an hour and chop it up, show it, and put it away again". Jeff Keen had NO EYES on posterity.
In 2008, William Fowler asked Jeff Keen "Do you want to be accepted?", of course he immediately replied "No". But without a fanfare, without a grimace, without any inkling that acceptance was EVER worth a stray thought. Without any secret hope that this refusal might later bear establishment fruit, without self-regarding righteous avant-defiance. He says no mildly, in utter disinterested openness, like someone who has sincerely never even considered the possibility of a Career In Art. That's just never been the point. And his work bears out the wisdom of that DIY indifference to the art-world. Not so much a "Slap In The Face Of Public Taste", as a refusal to countenance the Face of Public Taste at all, that Gorgon's head whose gaze turns your living art to stone:
So, ANYWAY, we have put together this little auditory response to the work of Jeff Keen. It runs the gamut from diary-type events like Matt Dalby's "Tapequarry", to improvised responses like Dominic Lash's "Lite White" or Oscillatorial Binnage's "Keen Sinked", through mounds of concrete and collage to cheap synth drama like Tony Gage's "Farewell To The Moon" (simply SEE BELOW for the video-version of this joint). All the PROFITS are going to store and restore the exploded Keen Archive. You should listen to some CLIPS of this. I hope we've done him justice.
We salute you, Dr Gaz, a troop AWOL in Mickey-Mouse masks, painting Blake's Nebuchadnezzar on the running engine of an experimental aircraft.
Lock up your Artwrx
Then step out with Liferope
Alternatively send a polite and adoring covering letter and a cheque made out to "Stuart Calton" to: Council of Drent Recordings, Flat Above Dalia Bakery, 767a Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 3DL. £10.00 within the UK. £12.00 for the rest of the world. Ask about review copies.