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 Bill Bissett  (1939 - )

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Lived/Active: British Columbia/Ontario/Nova Scotia / Canada      Known for: sculpture, painting, drawing, performance art, poetry

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Willam Frederick Bissett is primarily known as Bill Bissett

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bill bissett
Barclay Street – Acrylic 48 X 34, dated 1969. Courtesy of the University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Bill Bissett (1939)
Writer, editor, musician, artist. bill bissett was born William Frederick Bissett on November 23, 1939 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  A pioneer of sound, visual, and performance poetry, bissett was an important figure of West Coast counterculture during the 1960s.  He is known for using a unique orthography that eschews punctuation and capitalization and utilizes phonetic spelling as strategies of contestation against normative subject positions.  He attended Dalhousie University (1956) and the University of British Columbia (1963-1965), but dropped out of both institutions, seeking to engage life freely and directly, unencumbered by academic constraints.

bissett moved to Vancouver in 1958. He launched blewointment magazine in 1963, which would become blewointment press a year later. blewointment press published volumes by Steve McCaffery, Maxine Gadd, bpNichol, and D.A. Levy.

bissett’s first volume of poetry, we sleep inside each othr all, was published in 1965.  bissett’s visual art has also been included in several solo and group exhibitions, such asfires in th tempul : bill bissett (1984), and Rezoning collage and assemblage: bill bissett / George Herms / Jess / Al Neil (1989). bissett has also made sound/musical recordings, both alone (e.g. skars on th seehorse, 1999) and with the band the Luddites (e.g. Luddites, 1987).

bissett moved to Ontario in 1985 and was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario.  He currently shuttles between Vancouver and Toronto, having studios in both cities.

Source: Vancouver Art in the 60s,  Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Archives, University of British Columbia.
Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke

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