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The many loves of John Giorno

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Not just a fantastic poet, John Giorno must also be an impressive lover. How else to explain I Heart John Giorno, a 13-venue show dedicated to Andy Warhol’s former boyfriend and the current partner of Ugo Rondinone (who organised it)? Giorno kicked off the show on 21 June with a talk at Sky Art with MoMA curator Laura Hoptman, the pair nestled between two of his pieces: It’s Not What Happens, It’s How You Handle It and A Hurricane in a Drop of Cum. The conversation was lively and free-flowing, touching on why Giorno doesn’t read at his readings (“It’s like a singer. Have you ever heard a singer read a phrase?”), how he came up with his Dial-A-Poem project (“I was on the phone waiting and I thought to myself, why do I have to listen to this bullshit? This could be a poem!”), and hanging out with William Burroughs (“He somehow got SMARTER with vodka and marijuana.”) The message of the talk, like the message of the show, seemed to be that you will never ever be as cool as John Giorno.