Opening July 24. from 7pm
Offensive for Contemporary Art and Communication
10115 Berlin Mitte
July 25. - 28. from 2- 10pm
Organized by Rodney LaTourelle
and Jole Wilcke
"Images... images... I've got millions of images... screams...
orgasms... preachers frothing at the mouth... all the images any
hip poet ever shit out."
William S. Burroughs
Paul Butler's Collage Party is a nomadic workshop in which local artists and the public are
invited to produce collage together in a party atmosphere. The
Collage Party provides a free space for the local community to
meet, interact, and share a process of production. In this way,
the Collage Party unleashes the spontaneous energy of juxtaposition,
encouraging both material and social experimentation.
Based in Winnipeg, Canada, Butler has organized Collage Parties
in a variety of locations, including Los Angeles, Toronto, New
York, Oslo, and London.
- Opening Night with DJ COOP (HiFi/Coop/Rio) at 7pm
- Collaging continues: free-style
- Collaging continues: FILM NIGHT Recent Canadian Underground
Film at 8 pm
- Collaging continues: free-style
- Closing Night! All Collage on the walls PAUL BUTLER artist talk
I started hosting Collage Parties
as a way to recapture the art school energy I was missing after
graduating from The Alberta College Art and Design in 1997. I
gather a variety of collage materials, invite a number of friends
to join me, and make art for no other reason but to have fun.
Over the past 5 years, the Party has grown exponentially. I have
been invited to host them all over the world including Oslo, London,
Los Angeles, New York, Japan and Berlin.
The Collage Party format (it is nomadic and flexible, some events
are one night only, others last a few days, the attendance at
one Collage Party might be 10 people, at another 200) allows me
to experiment and do things I wouldn't normally do in my own studio.
There are always new people joining the party and as a result,
I am constantly being exposed to new ways of thinking and working.
This art-making process is informal, fun and rigorous all
"One Night in Bangkok"
In October of 2003 I was assigned to write an article about Paul
Buttler's latest Collage party that was to take place in his hometown
of Winnipeg. I was ecstatic at this chance to visit Winnipeg
and witness first hand why it is being described as the creative
volcano that fiercely spews out art, music and culture so hot
that it must have come from the center of the creative earth.
And what's more, I was to report on one of the major players
responsible for making up this artistic tsunami that is taking
the world by storm. Paul Butler is a veritable jet- setting
collage playboy, who criss-crosses the globe from London to Los
Angeles Throwing collage parties for those lucky enough to be
on the V.I.P. guest list.
The collage party starts Friday
night and runs straight through to Sunday evening. It is
being held at The Graffiti Gallery, located in the heart of Winnipeg's
Historic exchange district.
The Graffiti Gallery lives up
to its name. The interior of the large one room werhouse
is drenched from floor to ceiling with tags. There are tables
set up and several boxes of magazines along one wall. I
am immediately approached by a man who introduces himself as Pete
Buller. He is dressed in all white with the words "Winnipeg
Reprazent" printed on his hoodie. His monotone voice
is as calming as an automated telephone answering system, and
his cool demeanor is enough to put a professional wrestler at
ease. I ask for Paul Buttler and he informs me that he is
short fifty dollars for a beer run. I automatically hand
over three twenties. He assures me that Buttler will be
here soon and that I should make myself at home.
I introduce myself around and
decide to try my hand at collageing. Small talk is a good
way to get the scoop so I strike up a conversation with the fellow
How many collages have you made?
I never make any collage when
I come to these things, I just end up reading the magazines.
People have begun arriving and
the focus turns away from collage as boisterous greeting are being
made. The energy is building. It is only a matter of time
now before the creative damn bursts making way for a flood of
witty, humorous, perhaps even poignant collage works.
No flood yet. No sign of Paul Buttler either. The
number of finished collages can be counted on one hand. The
telephone however seems to be the cause of much excitement. It
seems that phone sex lines offer two free hours to first time
callers. A large swarm of young girls, street hoods, and
transvestite prostitutes has formed. Pete Buller is on the
phone entertaining the hoard with his elaborate scenarios. He
is in the middle of describing a torrid scene involving a church
key, a length of twine, and a folding poker table when he spots
me and waves me over. It seems Buttler is on his way but
he's short on cab fare so I donate another twenty. A quick
wink accompanied by a wave of his hand and I am dismissed. Back
on the phone he describes himself as a taller more successful
Wesley snipes. The crowd woop's with approval. I walk
away wondering what the hell I am going to put in the article
The sound of breaking glass shocks me awake. I must have
passed out on the couch. Pete Buller is scurrying about,
hastily placing empty beer bottles into boxes. He comes
over, bumm's a cigarette and without my even saying a word he
begins to reassure me that my trip was not in vein.
"Don't worry about a thing last night was just an ice breaker.
The second day is always when the magic happens. Your
about to see some amazing art legends in the making today".
With every soothing word I could feel my anxieties melting
I loan him a hundred dollars to cover the losses of the previous
night, and he leaves to take the empties back to the hotel across
Pete Buller has not returned. No one has shown up. I
left around noon to find lunch but a group of teen-aged thugs
chased me back into the building. All I've eaten today are
pizza crusts. The piece for the magazine is over. I'd
take a cab directly to the airport except that Buller has all
of my money and my cards were taken from my wallet in my sleep
last night. I'd have some money wired to me but the phones do
not allow long distance calls and the computer is so riddled with
porno pop-ups that I can not get an e-mail through. I am
trapped inside of an abandoned factory. I am tightly griping my
hair and gently bouncing my head off of a table.
The door bangs open, and in rush fifteen to twenty people led
by a large well-dressed bald man. They all sit down at the
tables and get to work without a so much as a word. I can not
believe what I am seeing. The fury with which they work
is mesmerizing. They extract images from magazines with
the steadied accuracy of field surgeons. The combinations of image
and text yield smooth punch lines with a lasting effect. The
juxtapositions are unheard of. Mike Tyson, wildlife, famine,
Paris Hilton as a farmer. No easy, slapstick gags are even
being attempted and no topic is sacred.
I'm dumbfounded. They have been at it for over two hours with
out letting up. All the while the bald man in crocodile
shoes is circling the tables and collecting finished works that
he then places into large aluminum brief cases. I have avoided
looking at him because the glow that emanates from his jewelry
is hard on the eyes. He approaches and without the hindrance
of courtesy, informs me that I owe him twenty collage pieces.
Upon quickly explaining my situation and producing press
affiliation he brightens up. I sit with him while he catalogue's
a stack of collage. He explains that he owns an establishment
that offers bar-tabs in exchange for artwork. Art work that
he sells on the Internet for a tidy profit.
We are interrupted by the entrance of Pete Buller. The bald
man excuses himself and begins speaking to Bulller in hushed tones
He then produces a large stack of bills from a third brief
case. An exchange is made and then he walks out with his crocodile
shoes and his aluminum cases filled with collages.
Buller begins handing out beers and pot joints. All art
A fight breaks out.
The place is trashed. Full contact tape ball soccer leads
to a game of dodge the beer bottles. A tape web spans the room,
tables are overturned. A full size foam and fiberglass recreation
of Michelangelo's David is shattered by a garbage can and his
appendages are sent into the air. Someone is taped to a pillar
five feet off the ground and through a funnel force fed liquor
For the last half hour one lone girl has sat pleasantly in the
midst of all this and continued to make collage while dodging
beer bottles. How anybody can stay focused in a shit storm
like this is beyond me. And its going to have to stay that
way because if I don't leave now I'm going to end up taped to
a pole or worse.
The Teenagers out side gave me two bucks for my watch and I'm
now on a transit bus to the airport.
Two Weeks Later
I'm home now and almost recovered from my trip. The headaches
have stoped but I still wake up in the middle of the night with
cold sweats. I'm still cant figure out if I saw Paul Buttler
there or not. One thing I am sure of is that the art in
Winnipeg is good but its safer to buy it on the internet.