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Poster for “Riflemaker Becomes Indica” featuring “Word Incest” in January 2007

Malgorzata Kitowski participated in a “Word Incest” performance together with fellow poets as part of the Riflemaker Becomes Indica show at the Riflemaker Gallery in January 2007.

“Word Incest” is a poetry/art performance concept devised by Malgorzata Kitowski.

Word Incest, Monday 29 January
Four poets read simultaneously in an evening of cut-ups and word incest. Malgorzata Kitowski, James Byrne, Suzanne Andrade, Paul Taylor. 

* * *

Indica, London’s first conceptual art space, the place where John Lennon and Yoko Ono met, and the hangout for the movers and shakers of mid-1960s London returns to the capital via Riflemaker, the former gun-shop in Soho, on 20 November 2006.

Indica was open for just two full years, from November 1965 to November 1967, but in that short time, it was a meeting point for extraordinary talent and a major influence on today’s conceptual art scene; the first place in London to offer a platform for experimental Op, kinetic and performance work, with many of its artists going on to international success.

Operating from a building in Mason’s Yard, Mayfair, where Jay Jopling’s new White Cube recently reopened, Indica became a hub of activity. The Beatles were regular visitors, Gered Mankowitz (Rolling Stones photographer) lived next door, William Burroughs on the corner in Duke Street and co-founder John Dunbar was at the time married to Marianne Faithfull. Visitors included Roman Polanski, Antonioni and the teenage Marc Bolan, who helped out at the gallery painting the walls.

Indica closed in 1967, when co-founder Barry Miles (better known simply as ‘Miles’) took the two cardboard boxes that were all that remained of this seminal space, including photographs, diaries, invitations and posters, and deposited them at the Tate Gallery library at Millbank.

Forty years later Indica is reborn in a collaboration between its original founders John Dunbar and Barry Miles and the curators at Riflemaker, Tot Taylor and Virginia Damtsa. ‘Riflemaker becomes Indica’ contrasts the collaborative, experimental ethos of Indica against today’s more commercial, competitive cultural scene, and, in the spirit of the original gallery, acts as a point of crossover for music, art, poetry and film, with a soundtrack from the 1960s and ‘happenings’ taking place throughout the show.

The full events programme is below.

Works by the artists that showed at Indica in the 1960s wil be in the show (including Yoko Ono, Liliane Lijn, Mark Boyle and Julio Le Parc), plus rarely seen material from Tate’s Indica archive such as the visitors’ book signed by Yoko Ono, and counterculture literature including magazine graphics featuring Paul McCartney.

Today’s young art stars Conrad Shawcross, Jaime Gili and Juan Fontanive are creating new works in response to those of the original generation, and there will also be a series of evening talks, screenings and gigs which look at the explosive cultural scene of that time.


All events take place at Riflemaker and begin at 6.30pm. Monday night music gigs take place at Fudge Six, Dean Street, W1. Artists and writers will DJ after their events.

Part One – The Movement
Monday 20 November
Special Private View and opening of the exhibition

Monday 27 November
Indications… John Dunbar & Barry Miles talk about Indica

Monday 4 December
Indica Kinetica & Concept 1966-2006
Liliane Lijn, Juan Fontanive, Conrad Shawcross, Guy Brett

Monday 11 December
Pop Concertos for Film
Peter Whitehead & Maxa Zoller discuss the underground film scene in Britain ’65/’66 including unseen footage of Indica gallery 1966 and excerpts from Whitehead’s seminal films including ‘Wholly Communion’ & ‘Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London’.

Monday 18 December
Bring in your favourite 45rpm vinyl single from 1966 and play it on a souped-up Dansette Junior. The room will sit up and listen as you talk – for the same duration as your record – about why it is, in the words of Brian Wilson, your “inspiration for life”.

Part Two – Concept & Counter-Culture
Monday 8 January
1966 and all that…
Indica Bookshop and the opening of the second half of the exhibition. Barry Miles & Joe Boyd talk about the London music scene at the time of Indica. Bob Stanley & Joe Boyd will DJ at Fudge Six afterwards.

Monday 15 January
Bag One
Special event with Nina Jan Beier and Marie Jan Lund, founders of the artist group Janfamily, followed by Yoko Ono talking to John Dunbar.

Monday 22 January
The Op Art Revolution of Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesus Rafael Soto.
A talk and slideshow by the Venezuelan artist Jaime Gili with special guest Carlos Cruz-Diez.

Monday 29 January
Word Incest
Four poets read simultaneously in an evening of cut-ups and word incest. Malgorzata Kitowski, James Byrne, Suzanne Andrade, Paul Taylor. With Pele Cox.

Riflemaker becomes Indica
20 November 2006 – 28 February 2007
79 Beak Street
London W1F 9SU
Tel: +44 020 7439 0000

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