The Rockstar Sessions
In 2014 Bonnin, along with his friend Johnny Segers, was commissioned to do a photoshoot of two aging former rock stars. Bonnin and Segers, somewhat trepidatiously, arrived at the address they had been given. They had no idea what to expect. All they knew, on doing research, was that the two men they were about to photograph had had a hit single in the 1970s; and subsequently had released a poorly accepted album, on which were three versions of their one and only hit single.
The two men: Capstun, and Joe-joe Hoots, wanted photographs of themselves taken over two or three days just of them in their ‘natural habitat, with nothing set up’ is what the letter read (they did not do internet ‘on principle’).
The reason for them wanting to expend some of their money (for, ever since their hit they have been living off their royalties … is what they told Bonnin), was because they wanted to reform their band with them as the only two original members. Hence, wanted some publicity shots showing them in their ‘normal’ state of existence.
Capstun and Joe-joe were the guitarist and the bassist, and the two people who had set up the band in the first place. The drummer had lost his confidence in a rather sad and unfortunate catapult accident, which incidentally had made it into the Guinness Book of Records (before the rules were tightened up). And the singer (one of three singers in the space of eight months), had had to quit due to his mother, who he lived with, not liking the company he was keeping.
Anyway, when Bonnin and Segers arrived Capstun and Joe-joe were on the brink of finishing their come-back album (over forty years on)… These photos are a moment in time – they have as far as we are aware not yet released their new album; the photos show the two of them relaxing around the house in ‘informal chat mode’, ‘caught at their shared desk’ no doubt thinking up new songs, ‘in the bar’ relaxing after a long day of thinking up rhymes for Crème de menthe, Potpourri and the like; and, of course, even rock stars have to do a little gardening sometimes.
Bonnin and Segers remain unpaid for their work. So if anyone knows of Capstun and Joe-joe’s whereabouts please let them know.
Surrealists in the window of Andre Breton’s House (reproducing a famous picture from Breton’s time) March 2019
The Shortest Surrealist Exhibition in the World
The internationally-recognised shortest and smallest surrealist exhibition in the world – took place towards the end of August 2020. It lasted for just under three-and-a-half minutes: it was ensured that the closing speech to the exhibition overlapped the opening speech/welcoming speech. It included five works of art by Jean Bonnin; John Welson; and A.P. Mousnier. It was held at a stone circle in the south-west of Wales, and was attended by a couple of sheep and a lost family who had just moved to the area… The complete story of the event is in the book: “Surrealism in Wales” – available from this website, and all disreputable bookshops.
André Breton’s House
Exhibition in Southern France 2019
Surrealism: Wellspring of the Imagination (March 2020)
L-R: John Richardson; Jean Bonnin; John Welson… A surrealist exhibition held in Builth Wells where Jean Bonnin and the two Johns read Surrealist poetry, their own as well as some from classic surrealist poets. Bonnin read his own poetry as well as mainly concentrating on the poetry of female surrealists.
Tribe of Welsh Surrealists (May 2018)
L-R: David Greenslade; John Richardson; Neil Coombs; Jean Bonnin; John Welson… A Surrealist Poetry evening held at the Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye.
Surrealist Exhibition Aberystwyth (The Surrealist Murmuration)
L-R: John Richardson; John Welson; Patrick Lepetit; Jean Bonnin; David Greenslade; Mary Jacobs… Jean Bonnin and others preparing to open the largest Surrealist Exhibition in Wales for forty years. It was also the first time Malcolm de Chazal had been exhibited in the UK since 1967 [Jean Bonnin is translator of three of Malcolm de Chazal’s surrealist poetry books].