More from Harry Ruhe's home: a glass cabinet in his living room containing works by Japanese Fluxus artists Yoko Ono and Mieko Shiomi. Included are Ono's:
- Onobox, the 1992 Rykodisc box set of all of Ono’s recorded output at the time.
- Arising, a boxed stone, available here for 25 Euro)
- We’re All Water, from Gallery 360
- the 2007 Imagine Peace box, available from Printed Matter, here.
- Box Of Smile - Onochord
- Water Music, the original Fluxus edition
- a reissue of the Events and Games box (available here)
- Endless Box
Elsewhere in the house is Shiomi’s annotated map piece Spatial Poem #1.
Fiona Rae, Doriana Chiarini, Aernout Mik, Kay Rosen Voorwerk 1
Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Witte de With, 1990
21 x 31 cm., boxed
Edition of 500
In October of 1990 Witte de With in Rotterdam held the first of their Voorwerk series, which featured works by Doriana Chiarini, Aernout Mik, Fiona Rae and Kay Rosen.
Voorwerk translates to "preliminary work" and the series featured then-younger and emerging artists, with the intention to provide "the first substantial presentation of works by relatively unknown artists". Their track record of picking those who would go on to greater success, especially in this first year, is pretty incredible. The shows were annual and presented without thematics or common denominators.
Italian artist Doriana Chiarini presented elegant objects that combined design and art. Aernout Mik showed his Dummies series, which consists of cushions from photographic linen, loosely modelled after the human body, that are photographically printed with children’s portraits. The two painters couldn't have been more different - Fiona Rae exhibited abstract works and Kay Rosen presented textual paintings rich with visual jokes, taken from everyday conversation, pulp novels and telephone directories.
The "catalogue" for the exhibition featured a compartmentalized cardboard box containing works by all four artists: an original painting by Fiona Rae (each unique), 5 cards by Kay Rosen, a fold out paper by Chiarini and 5 photocards by Mik.
Art Metropole stocked at least two of the three boxes that were released, in the first year that I worked there. I can't remember the exact price, but I seem recall them being between thirty and fifty dollars. All of the titles have increased in value considerably since that time, with the first one (owing much to the inclusion of the unique Rae painting) particularly costly.
This copy is from Cult Club, a new store and gallery project by Jeannette Dekeukeleire and Harry Ruhe in Amsterdam. It's available only in the complete set of three Voorwerk boxes, for 360 Euros, here.
AA Bronson, who founded and directed both the New York and LA Art Book Fairs (as well as founding Art Metropole and serving as director for Printed Matter for a number of years) was invited by the London Art Book Fair to share his experiences with book fairs and publishing. In addition to the talk about his life and work with General Idea, he presented a video about his banned erotic novel Lena (more about novels by artists later this week).
While in London, Time Out Magazine asked him for his top five choices from the fair, and Nothing Else Press was his fifth:
5. Nothing Else Press, Toronto ‘Named after Dick Higgins Fluxus-heavy press of the ’60s and ’70s, Something Else Press, this young publisher seemed the only ones present to have produced an entire new line of works especially for the Fair. My favourite? “Eel’s Wallet” by Dean Baldwin, an edition of 47 wallets stuffed full of drinks tickets, which bizarrely becomes some sort of “book” for which we have no name. £80.’