Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dick Higgins | Thirteen Serious Considerations

















Dick Higgins
Thirteen Serious Considerations
15 pp., 10 x 16.5 cm., loose leaves
West Glover, USA: Self-published, 1978
Edition size unknown

A rubber-stamped manilla envelope - which also serves as the mailer - houses fifteen postcards: twelve on yellow paper and two on white, one of which is glossy and slightly larger. The works borrows its format from Robert Filliou's Ample Food For Stupid Thought, which Higgins' Something Else Press published thirteen years prior. 

The above copies were sent to American art critic Kim Levin (The Village Voice, Artnews, Flash Art, etc) and Rosanna Chiessi (1934 -  2016), an Italian publisher and gallery owner, who published Higgins’ graphic score Emmett Williams' Ear the year before, in 1977. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Judith Doyle | Transcript




Judith Doyle
Transcript
Buffalo, USA: Hallwells, 1981
[9] pp., 22 x 14 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Top Stories was a prose periodical featuring experimental writing by women authors and artists. The series included staple-bound booklets by Jenny Holzer, Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, Pati Hill, Mary Kelly and others. 

The eighth issue (of a total of 29 publications) features a transcript from a performance based on personal accounts exploring the subject of physical pain as it relates to emotional numbness, in particular the feeling of being in a strange new place.

Available for $25 US, here

Sunday, October 25, 2020

This week on Tumblr: Ben Vautier
















 This week on Tumblr: Boxed works by Ben Vautier.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Joseph Beuys' Capri Battery stolen














Joseph Beuys
Capri Battery
Naples, Italy: Edizione Lucio Amelio, 1985
8 x 11 x 6 cm.
Edition of 200 [+ a few a.p] signed and numbered copies

On October 18th, the Joseph Beuys multiple Capri Battery - which is valued at between thirty and forty thousand dollars - was stolen from an exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany. The work was taken from the exhibition “Pollution. Body States. Fascism: Christoph Schlingenseif and the Art” at the Oberhausen Theater, where it was on loan from the LWL Museum for Art and Culture in Münster. The theft initially went unnoticed, but is now under investigation by German authorities. 

The German artist collective Frankfurter Hauptschule has announced that its members are responsible for stealing the work, and delivering it to the Iringa Boma regional museum and cultural centre in Tanzania as a “symbolic act of restitution to the former German colony.” 

A video titled “Bad Beuys Go Africa” was posted by the group to their Youtube page. The lighthearted clip (soundtracked with a choral cover of Toto's song "Africa") allegedly shows the trio in mid-heist, followed by the group celebrating aboard a plane en route to Tanzania. 

In a text accompanying the video, Frankfurter Hauptschule claims that the work is now on display “alongside traditional objects of the craftsmanship of the Hehe tribe.” The group further asserts, “Under the colonial regime, art objects, cultural assets and skulls of Hehe leaders were stolen from Iringa and brought to Germany in inextricable numbers.”

Beuys conceived of the work - one of his final multiples - on the island of Capri in Italy, while the artist was staying at the villa of his dealer Lucio Amelio. It consists of a yellow light bulb, a plug socket and lemon, housed in a wooden box with a signed certificate. On the side of the box, the following instructions are printed: ‘After 1000 hours, change the battery.’

The work exists in an edition of 200, with iterations residing in the collections of the MoMA, RISD Museum, Harvard Art Museum, The Walker Art Centre, The Tate, and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, among other institutions.




Martha Wilson | 1. Truck 2. Fuck 3. Muck










Martha Wilson
1. Truck 2. Fuck 3. Muck
New York City, USA: Self-published, 1975
11 pp., 28 x 22 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Truck Fuck Muck is a collection of three short stories about a hitchhiker’s tryst with a truck driver, told from three different points of view, and written in a clinical self-detached. The bottom image is an installation view from an exhibition at White Columns, held between November 29th to December 18th, of 1975.

Join Wilson for a live virtual Zoom talk tomorrow at 1pm. 

Presented in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Now Bulletin: Artworks, Letters and Printed Matter from the Garry Neill Kennedy Collection 1968 - 2019, Wilson will talk about her experiences as a young artist in Halifax in the 1970’s where she become involved with the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s arts community. 







Friday, October 23, 2020

Christo | Look












Christo
Look
Cologne, Germany: Edition MAT/Galerie der Spiegel, 1964
56 x 45.6 x 8.2 cm
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies


Christo first wrapped magazines in 1961, and his first multiple was a wrapped copy of the German magazine Der Spiegel. In 1963, he produced a large work containing various wrapped magazines, also titled Look

His second multiple was produced for Daniel Spoerri's Edition MAT and featured various copies of Look over sheets of foam, wrapped in polyethylene and cord, on a wooden support. 

Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude has relocated to New York the year prior and Look magazine represented the essence of American consumerist culture. Headlines in the issues he selected included "The American Woman", "The Changing World of Japanese Women", "The Negro Now", "Catholic Revolution", "Flight from Dallas", "The Day JFK Died", and "Kennedy" (see below). 

When the works were shipped from New York to Karl Gertsner (who coedited Edition MAT MOT with artist Daniel Spoerri) in Cologne, customs agents unwrapped several, not recognizing them as artworks. 

In an undated letter to the artist from the Spoerri archives at the Swiss National library, Gertsner proposes adding the black wooden frame, so that the works might be read as "pictures" (Wrapped Der Spiegel had been designed to lay flat). This would also allow them to be mounted on the wall for a forthcoming Edition MAT exhibition that was being planned at the time. Perhaps most important to the publisher, mounting the works made them more marketable. The editions from the 64 series that were not hung proved more difficult to sell. 

Look initially sold for under $200. Recent auction prices today hover around $20,000.















Thursday, October 22, 2020

Jenny Holzer | Süddeutches Zeitun















[Jenny Holzer]
Süddeutches Zeitung, No. 46 
Munich, Germany: Magazin Verlagsgesellschaft Süddeutsche Zetung mbH, 1993
94 pp., 29.5 x 22.5 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown


The Bosnian War, with an estimated 100,000 dead and over two-million displaced, is one of the most devastating conflicts in Europe since World War Two. In the time between April 1992 and December 1995 it is also estimated that between twelve and fifty thousand women were raped (exact figures are difficult, with estimates that for every reported instance of sexual assault there were fifteen to twenty unreported cases). 

Rape was a policy of systemic violence, perpetrated by Bosnian Serb forces of the Army of the Republika Srpska  and Serb paramilitary units as an instrument of terror, and as part of their program of ethnic cleansing.

Lustmord, which translates to “sexual murder,” is Jenny Holzer's response to the atrocities. Created between 1993 and 1994, the work consists of three poems that recount the sex crimes from the perspective of the victim, the perpetrator, and the witness of these rapes. Holzer confuses the perspectives, reordering their sequence in such a way the viewer is not certain who is speaking.

The work would later be presented in Holzer's signature medium, the LED light sign, and also as engraved silver bands around human bones (see below). But they first appeared here, in the November 1993 issue of Süddeutches Zeitung - a glossy magazine free with the Sunday edition of one of Germany's largest daily newspapers. 

Presented in German and English, the texts were written on human skin and photographed in close-up. Printed as full-bleed spreads the images are confrontational and deeply disturbing. The cover of the magazine features a folded card also designed by the artist with text from one of the poems that reads “I am awake in a place where women die,” 



"I wrote it from reading first-person accounts and also reports written by the United Nations, Amnesty International and news services. And I should also say, I wrote it about women at large; it wasn’t only about the situation in Bosnia. This sort of stuff goes on everywhere all of the time and I was able to draw on things that I know and have experienced and that other people have told me. It’s not an alien subject."
- Jenny Holzer




I SWIM IN HER AS SHE QUIETS. I SINK ON HER.
I SING HER A SONG ABOUT US. I STEP ON HER HANDS.
I SPLAY HER FINGERS.
SHE ROOTS WITH HER BLUNT FACE.
SHE HUNTS ME WITH HER MOUTH.
SHE HAS THREE COLORS IN HER EYES.
I BITE HER CLOSED AGAIN.
I AM NEAR HER MILK.
I TELL HER TO SOAP HERSELF.
SHE TIGHTENS AND I HIT HER.
I WASH HER OUT.
I WATCH HER WHILE SHE THINKS ABOUT ME.
HER SALIVA RUNS WHEN SHE SLEEPS.
I HOOK HER SPINE.
SHE HAS A URINE SMELL.
HER SWALLOW REFLEX IS GONE.
HER HEAD EXPLODES IN THE FIRE.
HER BREASTS ARE ALL NIPPLE.
SHE ACTS LIKE AN ANIMAL LEFT FOR COOKING.
I FIND HER SQUATTING ON HER HEELS AND THIS OPENS HER SO
I CAN GET HER FROM BELOW.
I TAKE HER FACE WITH ITS FINE HAIRS. I POSITION HER MOUTH.
I WANT TO FUCK HER WHERE SHE HAS TOO MUCH HAIR.
I HOOK MY CHIN OVER HER SHOULDER. NOW THAT SHE IS STILL I CAN CONCENTRATE.
SHE HAS NO TASTE LEFT TO HER AND THIS MAKES IT EASIER FOR ME.
THE COLOR OF HER WHERE SHE IS INSIDE OUT IS ENOUGH TO MAKE ME KILL HER.
I AM AWAKE IN THE PLACE WHERE WOMEN DIE.
THE BIRD TURNS ITS HEAD AND LOOKS WITH ONE EYE WHEN YOU ENTER.
MY BREASTS ARE SO SWOLLEN THAT I BITE THEM.
YOUR AWFUL LANGUAGE IS IN THE AIR BY MY HEAD.
I DO NOT LIKE TO WALK BECAUSE I FEEL IT BETWEEN MY LEGS.
HAIR IS STUCK INSIDE ME.
MY NOSE BROKE IN THE GRASS. MY EYES ARE SORE FROM MOVING AGAINST YOUR PALM.
I HAVE THE BLOOD JELLY.
WITH YOU INSIDE ME COMES THE KNOWLEDGE OF MY DEATH.
YOU HAVE SKIN IN YOUR MOUTH. YOU LICK ME STUPIDLY.
YOU CONFUSE ME WITH SOMETHING THAT IS IN YOU. I WILL NOT PREDICT HOW YOU WANT TO USE ME.
I FEEL YOUR SHOULDER BONE UNDER MY HAND AND I KNOW WHAT WILL COME TO YOU.
I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND IT DOES ME NO GOOD AT ALL. I TRY TO EXCITE MYSELF SO I STAY CRAZY.

WHAT IS LEFT ON THE BLANKET IS CLEAR AND THE COLOR OF HELL.
I WANT TO LIE DOWN BESIDE HER. I HAVE NOT SINCE I WAS A CHILD. I WILL BE COVERED BY WHAT HAS COME FROM HER.
SHE BEGINS TO MAKE MISTAKES IN HER LANGUAGE AND I CORRECT HER THE WAY SHE TAUGHT ME.
I FIND HER TOWELS SHOVED IN TIGHT SPOTS. I TAKE THEM TO BURN ALTHOUGH I FEAR TOUCHING HER THINGS.
SHE ASKS ME TO SLEEP IN THE HOUSE BUT I WILL NOT WITH HER NEW BODY AND ITS NOISE.
SHE SMILES AT ME BECAUSE SHE IMAGINES I CAN HELP HER.
SHE COUGHS THE MOUTH STRINGS.
I WANT TO BRUSH HER HAIR BUT THE SMELL OF HER MAKES ME CROSS THE ROOM. I HELD MY BREATH AS LONG AS I COULD. I KNOW I DISAPPOINT HER.
SHE STARTED RUNNING WHEN EVERYTHING BEGAN POURING FROM HER BECAUSE SHE DID NOT WANT TO BE SEEN.
SHE FELL ON THE FLOOR IN MY ROOM. SHE TRIED TO BE CLEAN WHEN SHE DIED BUT SHE WAS NOT. I SEE HER TRAIL.
HER GORE IS IN A BALL OF CLEANING RAGS. I CARRY OUT THE DAMPNESS LEFT FROM MY MOTHER. I RETURN TO HIDE HER JEWELRY.
THE BLACK SPECKS INSIDE MY EYES FLOAT ON HER BODY. I WATCH THEM WHILE I THINK ABOUT HER.
I WANT TO SUCK ON HER TO MAKE HER RESPOND.
I WALK OUTSIDE TO THE PATH AND SEE THE PLANTS UNMARKED BY HER DYING.
SHE IS NARROW AND FLAT IN THE BLUE SACK AND I STAND WHEN THEY LIFT HER.