Saturday, October 21, 2017
G.P.O. v G.P-O: Mail Action
Toronto, Canada: Art Metropole, 2002
105 pp., 21.5 × 28 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown
G.P.O. v G.P-O: Mail Action was the 2nd in a series of Art Metropole "bootleg" publications (made in collaboration with the artists) that also included Sonic Youth, Dave Allen and Scott Trelevan. The xeroxed book is a facsimile reprint of a long-out-of-print title published by Ecart Publications in Geneva, in 1976.
In the spring of that year P-Orridge was charged by the General Post Office of Great Britain with disseminating “indecent and offensive material” through the post the year prior. His mail art at the time featured postcards collaged with pornographic imagery, erotic texts, and "confrontational" images of the Queen.
P-Orridge took the trial as an opportunity to turn the case into another performance. The contents of the book reprint the artist’s collection of official investigation documents from the post office, the police, the courts, and correspondence from artists, writers, lawyers, and friends, such as author William S. Burroughs.
The title was available in an edition of a hundred (I seem to recall), 23 of which were signed and numbered and included colour copies of the artist’s postcards, and a rubber stamp bearing the text “UNSOLICITED PORNOGRAPHY”.
Primary Information released a third iteration of the book in 2013 [below], which is now also no-longer-available.
Yesterday it was announced that Psychic TV’s upcoming tour dates in Europe have been postponed because Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
“We kept hoping we’d be OK but today heard the illness has got worse this week. My sincere, oh so sad apologies for all of you who bought tickets,” P-Orridge wrote on Facebook. “We are heartbroken to have seen the insane amount of work Matski and Edley [ODowd] have put in to set all this up only to have my old 67 year body say it needs a rest. We’ve been touring for about 50 years now. It’s the first time we have had to do this. We hope it will not be necessary again.”
Labels: Art Metropole
Friday, October 20, 2017
"This binding is perhaps the best known and most successful of the collaborations between Reynolds and Duchamp. On November 26, 1934, Duchamp visited his close friend Henri-Pierre Roché in Arago and excitedly reported on a binding that he had just designed for Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi that Mary Reynolds was going to execute. Reynolds and Duchamp created out of the binding itself an extraordinarily clever pun. Both the front and back covers are cut-out “U’s” covered in rich earth tones; the spine is a soft caramel B. The endpapers are made of black moiré silk. A gold crown, signifying the puppet king, is imprinted on the front flyleaf and visible through the front cut-out “U”. The author’s name is imprinted in gold on the back flyleaf and is similarly visible through the back U. The binding spread open spells “UBU.” Reynolds must have spent considerable time executing this binding. We know from a letter from Duchamp, responding to a question from Katharine Kuh, that the binding was not completed until 1935. It is expertly and lovingly crafted. Both Duchamp and Reynolds were so pleased with the final work, that another copy was bound identically for the American collectors Walter and Louise Arensberg (Philadelphia Museum of Art)."
See other examples of Mary Reynolds' elaborate bookbinding here.
Yesterday it was announced that the Morgan Library & Museum in NYC has acquired one of the most important private collections of material related to the life and work of Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). The Robert J. and Linda Klieger Stillman Pataphysics Collection includes three hundred items, including books, periodicals, correspondence, musical scores, and ephemera.
“The Morgan Library & Museum is honoured that Robert and Linda Stillman have chosen to donate this extraordinary collection to us,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “Alfred Jarry’s short life had enormous consequences for art of the twentieth century and, indeed, up to the present day. We look forward to organizing an exhibition of these exceptional pieces and to producing a catalog to help foster ongoing scholarship of the artist’s work.”
The Stillmans, doctors and collectors, wrote that their “primary objective in assembling this unique material was to make it available to researchers and to the public, which aligns with the mission of the museum."
Included in the collection are first editions of Jarry’s rare books, several of which are inscribed to his contemporaries, such as Minutes de sable mémorial (1894) and César Antechrist (1895); the first publication of Ubu Roi as it appeared in the avant-garde magazine Livre d’Art; the author’s corrected proofs for Ubu enchaîné; and the two editions of the Almanach du Père Ubu, illustrated by Pierre Bonnard. The gift also includes extremely rare copies of Jarry’s own artistic magazines L’Ymagier, and other important avant-garde magazines, such as La Revue Blanche, La Plume, Soirées de Paris, and Le festin d’Ésope, edited by Apollinaire.
The Stillmans also collected visual art contextualizing Jarry and Pataphysics. These pieces include original woodcuts, a rare photograph of Jarry in his fencing studio and works by Joan Miró, Thomas Chimes, and William Kentridge. This parallel collection will be loaned to The Morgan Library & Museum for the forthcoming exhibition.
Dr. Linda Klieger Stillman is a leading international authority on Pataphysics and a longtime member of the Collège de ‘Pataphysique. She has devoted several decades to the study of Jarry and his legacy, and is the author of a number of books and scholarly articles, including a critical biography. Her husband is a physician in the Washington, DC area, and is currently director emeritus of the Shady Grove Fertility Center.
Labels: Marcel Duchamp
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Recklinghausen, Germany: Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, 2016
5 x 4 x 3 cm.
Edition of 100 [+ 20 AP] signed and numbered copies
A ceramic replica of a Walther P99, with a metal wall mount, in a signed and numbered cardboard box.
The Walther P99 is a semi-automatic pistol developed by the German company Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen, for law enforcement, security forces and "the civilian shooting market". A special edition of the weapon was created as a tie-in with a recent James Bond film.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
"Alexander Gray Associates is pleased to announce representation of Kay Rosen (b.1943), with the Gallery’s first exhibition of her work opening February 2018. Rosen’s practice is distinguished by her use of language as raw visual material. After studying linguistics, Spanish, and French, Rosen transitioned away from academia and established herself as a visual artist in 1968, maintaining text as the foundation of her work. For four decades, her formal and humorous interventions into written language has been defined through painted wall installations, drawings, collages, paintings, prints, and videos.
Rosen’s work is characterized by her adaptation of simple words or phrases, typically in generic sans serif typography, rendered in dense, unmodulated color. Her works are graphic, and appear commercially manufactured, however each work is meticulously hand-made, with a brush or pencil; she paints or draws the discrete objects herself, and employs a sign painter to produce her large-scale architectural interventions.
Guided by the structure of words, she describes the elements of text “as objects, architecture, or sculptures,” and the forms that comprise individual letters as “body parts.” Critic Roberta Smith has referred to her as a "writer’s sculptor.” The artist has noted that her use of language is not descriptive, but rather performative. As she explains, words “enact or become the thing they represent, or some aspect of the thing,” thus becoming image.
Through her transformation of phrase into form, she removes the geographic or national locus of language often creating a universally-legible mode of communication. Her choice of color is informed by a desire to distinguish certain elements of a text, enforce concealed meaning, or evoke a mood. Through visual arrangement or rearrangement, she presents the viewer with problems to solve, messages to decode, ideas to translate. Her approach has anticipated contemporary communications in today’s image world, when political positioning and change is activated through short-form messaging, phonetic abbreviations, and acronyms.
Throughout her career, Rosen has invited political content into her work, often drawing from the contemporary political context. Her choice of succinct and accessible vernacular may be compared to political slogans, though her work is intentionally more transgressive. As curator Cornelia Butler points out, Rosen “became intrigued with the investigation of the cultural possibilities for language through the subversion of its basic structure, form, and appearance.” In order to prompt the viewer to analyze the follies of life from a new perspective, she interjects humor, which she explains “takes the form of silly humor, ha-ha humor, or ah-ha humor that occurs when one sees something in a fresh way.” Ultimately, through her sustained investigations into, and manipulation of, language as a medium, she has determined her role to be “primarily cognitive, discovering a message that’s concealed in a bit of text.”
Kay Rosen’s work is currently on view in the permanent collections of Art Institute of Chicago, IL and Indianapolis Museum of Art and as part of Incomplete History of Protest: Selections From The Whitney’s Collection, 1940–2017 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Her work will be featured in upcoming exhibitions at Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva; This Brush For Hire, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and as part of Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, curated by Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffman. Rosen’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and installations at Aldrich Contemporary Museum Ridgefield, CT (2017); Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, TX, and Grazer Kunstverein (2016), a collaboration with Matt Keegan; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2014); Aspen Art Museum (2012); Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA (2011–13); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, CA (2013); Art Institute of Chicago (2011); Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2004); University Art Museum, University of California Santa Barbara (2004); The Drawing Center, New York City (2002); M.I.T. List Visual Art Center, MA (1997); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (1994); Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN (1994); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1990); and New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY (1984). The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, CA in conjunction with Otis College of Art Design in Los Angeles, CA organized a two-venue mid-career survey exhibition of Rosen’s work entitled Kay Rosen: Li[f]eli[k]e (1998–99). Rosen has also been included in many group shows internationally including Tang Museum of Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (2014); Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (2013); Museum of Modern Art, NY (1996, 2012); Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2012); Honolulu Museum of Art, HI (2012); Christchurch Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2011, 2012 ongoing); the inaugural exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA (2008); Prospect.1, New Orleans, LA (2008); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, MA (1999, 2001); and Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (1991). Rosen was included in the Whitney Biennial 2000 and the 1991 Whitney Biennial as part of Group Material’s “AIDS Timeline.”
Rosen is currently a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, awarded in 2017. She has received three National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Grants to date (1987, 1989, 1995), an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant (1995), the SJ Weiler Fund Award (2014), and the Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work from the College Art Association (2014). Rosen taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for 24 years. Her work is included in the permanent collections of Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Rebaudengo Collection, Turin, Italy; Collection Lambert, Avignon, France; and the Israel Museum, Jerulsalem."
Labels: Kay Rosen
Monday, October 16, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Bristol, UK: Blowpop Records, 1999
30.48 x 30.48 cm.
Edition of [approx.] 100
Banksy was reportedly friends with the owner of the the short-lived Bristol record label Blowpop Records and designed and executed this cover free of charge. The disk is a 12" single by the Capoeira Twins (Ian Stratford, Tim Hancock) and features the songs 4X3 and Truth Will Out.
A plain white cardboard sleeve features a spray-painted stencil depicting a matador shaking a cape at a muscle car with bull horns mounted to its roof. With fewer than 100 copies known to have been created, the disc is valued at around $4000 US.
4x3 can be heard on Youtube, here.