Saturday, July 21, 2018

Spencer Julien | Works

Spencer Julien
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2017
83 pp., 20 x 12.5 x 0.5 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Published to coincide with the Etobicoke School of the Arts Portfolio Day, this volume includes: Research/Archive, Talk: Paths to Actualization, Scanner-based Photography, Curatorial Projects and Cirriculum Vitae.

Friday, July 20, 2018

You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With

Laurie Anderson/John Giorno/William S Burroughs
You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With
New York City, USA: Giorno Poetry Systems, 1981
Vinyl LP/Audio Cassette
Edition size unknown

A cassette and double LP released in 1981, with the CD following in 1993.  The tenth release from the Giorno Poetry Systems (and the second to feature Giorno and Burroughs), the album was recorded during the "Red Night" spoken word tour of 1981. Most of Anderson's material came from her magnum opus United States, and live versions of some tracks, such as "It Was Up in the Mountains", would also be included in her later 5-LP release, United States Live. This was Anderson's first major album release predating her solo debut, Big Science, by a year.

Whereas many of the Giorno Poetry Systems LPs had covers designed by visual artists (Les Levine, Keith Haring, Gary Panter, Robert Williams, etc.), this record was designed by George Delmerico, the late art director for the Village Voice newspaper.

Anderson's contributions to the LP include "Born, Never Asked", "Closed Circuits", "Dr. Miller", "It Was Up In The Mountains", "For Electronic Dogs", "Structuralist Filmmaking" and "Drums." Burroughs' tracks include "Introducing John Stanley Hart; He Entered The Bar With The Best Intentions", "Progressive Education", "The Wild Fruits", "Mr. Hart Couldn't Hear The Word Death" and others. Giorno is represented by two longer tracks: "Completely Attached To Delusion" and the epic "I Don't Need It, I Don't Want It, And You Cheated Me Out Of It".

The LP was a multi-grooved record, so depending on where the needle landed on the record listeners would hear either an Anderson, Burroughs or Giorno track.

"In 1974, I hitchhiked to the North Pole and when I got back my loft had been completely vandalized. There was some old mail lying on the front steps of the building inviting me to do a project at Zero Bull Shit Media in Fort Edward, New York. ZBS Media was a commune/recording studio where I learned about Buddhism and sound recording. It’s where I met Bob Bielecki, who was chief engineer there. Through him I met William and also John, who was beginning to record his work. We were all interested in making records and Dial-A-Poem was a sudden outlet for the work of all kinds of writers, musicians, and poets.

Burroughs’s “Language is a virus from outer space” always struck me as an odd thing for a writer to say—that language is a disease communicable by mouth. So, if language is a disease, what were we doing?

William wanted to be a song and dance man. He had some of the showman swagger of James Cagney and a few notes of Jimmy Durante saluting Mrs. Calabash (wherever you are). When he, John, and I made the record You’re the Guy I Want to Share My Money With (1981), William insisted that the three of us hold canes and pretend to dance for the photo shoot. So there we are on the back cover—the three of us in white shirts—William and John in some kind of tan suits and we’re all planting our canes in the same spot as if we’d just finished dousing.

It was a double album and each of us had a side. The album noted that these were “multi-track” pieces. The fourth side was a crapshoot. Depending on where you put the needle down, you would tap into one of our intertwined spirals, randomizing the record and giving it the feeling of one of William’s cut-ups."

- Laurie Anderson, "Dancing with John and William"

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik was born on this day in 1932.

László Moholy Nagy

László Moholy Nagy was born on this day in 1895.

Judy Chicago | Sappho Dessert Plate

Judy Chicago
Sappho Dessert Plate
New York City, USA: Prospect, NY, 2018
7" diameter
Edition of 150

Fine bone china dishwasher safe dessert plate. Made in Tangshan, China. Selling for $135, here.

Chicago celebrates her 79th birthday today.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp was born on this day in 1887.

Zoe Leonard | I Want a President

Zoe Leonard
I Want a President
Mexico City, Mexico: Gato Negro, 2017
[32] pp., 10.5 x 8 cm., paperback
Edition size unknown

A small Risograph book with the text of Zoe Leonard's now-imfamous I Want a President, one line per page.  Written in 1992 and originally intended for an LGBT magazine that folded, the text for I Want A President was instead photocopied and distributed as "something like a pre-internet meme -- something shared, copied, and re-interpreted starting way before most Americans had internet connections at home" [Vice Magazine].

The work was given a second life when feminist genderqueer collective LTTR founded by Ginger Brooks Takahashi, K8 Hardy and Emily Roysdon produced a postcard version in 2006, including them in their fifth annual art journal.

In October 2016, a month before election day, High Line Art installed a large version of the poem, measuring 20 feet by 30 feet, on a pillar underneath The Standard Hotel on the High Line, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (below). Images of the text went viral at that time.

Leonard's manifesto has been translated by artists and writers around the world, as recently as last month, in advance of the Mexican elections. In a film by Adinah Dancyger, HIV positive performance artist and rapper Mykki Blanco recites the poem, which can be seen on Youtube, here.

The full text is as follows:

“I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place   where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to AIDS, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no air-conditioning, a president who has stood in line at the clinic, at the DMV, at the welfare office, and has been unemployed and laid off and sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a Black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown. Always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker. Always a liar, always a thief, and never caught.”

The recent edition is from a series of mini-Manifestos published by Gato Negro, out of Mexico City. For more information, visit the publisher's website, here.

“Although written 24 years ago, Zoe’s piece seems even more relevant and urgent today, given the current political and social climate. It’s a text that oscillates between a heartfelt confession and a militant manifesto, between poetry and politics. It’s very moving and so deeply personal. I think it will really affect many people on the deepest emotional level.”

- Cecilia Alemani, High Line Art curator

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dave Dyment | Don’t Count My Scars Like Tree Rings, Top Ten

Dave Dyment
Don’t Count My Scars Like Tree Rings
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 1998
12″ diameter
Unique work

Liquid paper lines are added to a sound effects record of a heartbeat, creating a duet between the recorded sounds and the skipping needle.

Dave Dyment
Top Ten
Toronto, Canada: Self-published2005
12" diameter
Unique work

A pie-graph of the top ten selling records of all time is recreated as a vinyl record, using proportional wedges from the recordings involved, which include The Eagles, Michael Jackson, Boston, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Elton John and Billy Joel.

My two contributions to the MKG127 exhibition Record Shop, which also feature record related works by Sonny Assu (Vancouver), Deanna Bowen, Bill Burns, Roula Partheniou, Geoffrey Pugen, Marla Hlady, Christof Migone, Jacob Robert Whibley (Toronto), Michael Dumontier, Suzie Smith (Winnipeg), Instant Coffee, Jeffery & Humphrey (Vancouver/Winnipeg), Laura Kikauka (Meaford, ON) and Eleanor King (New York).

Record Shop continues until August 11th. For more information, visit the MKG127 site here.

Jenny Holzer | I see space...

Jenny Holzer
I see space... 
New York City, USA: Self-published, 2002
5.7 x 38.1 cm.
Unique work

A fine silver plaque engraved with the phrase "I see space and it looks like nothing and I want it around me".

Ben Vautier turns 83 today

Monday, July 16, 2018

Marcel Dzama | The Cabin of Count Dracula

Marcel Dzama
The Cabin of Count Dracula
Brisbane, USA: Trillium Press, 2005
14 x  14 x 6"
Edition of 10

A set of twenty lithographs depicting a variety of imagined activities happening at the vampire’s log cabin retreat. The prints are on Arches Cover paper, each signed with initials and numbered VII/X in pencil. They are housed in a custom hand-made wooden log cabin box, on a bed of faux beaver fur. A 9" marbelized green vinyl record (released separately in an edition of 1000) is also included.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

ACBA: Raymond Pettibon for Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth [Raymond Pettibon]
(Over) Kill Yr Idols
Newtonville, USA: Forced Exposure, 1985
17.8 × 18.4 cm.
Edition of 1246

Early 7" single recorded live in Berlin in 1983 and released alongside Forced Exposure magazine #7/8, and made available to Forced Exposure subscribers. Between ten and twenty test pressing copies have covers fully hand-coloured by Thurston Moore and a significant proportion of all copies feature some hand colouring.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ettore Spalletti | Salle des Fetes

Ettore Spalletti
Salle des Fetes
Milan, Italy: a+m bookstore, 1998
1400 pp., 17 x 12 cm., hardcover
Edition of 1000

Friday, July 13, 2018

Enrico Baj | La cravate ne vaut pas une médaille

Enrico Baj
La cravate ne vaut pas une médaille
Genève, Switzerland: Edition Rousseau, 1972
38 x 38 cm.
Edition of 160 signed and numbered copies

The Tie is Not Worth a Medal contains 21 folders of screenprints on handmade paper, some featuring mixed media additions such as plastic, felt and collaged paper. The final folder is signed "HC baj." They are housed in a white imitation leather slipcase, onto which is mounted a Lego board.

Auction records vary, with the size being listed as 38cm., 39.5cm., 40cm., and 40.5cm., and the edition size as either being 160, or 200, which is unusual, given that the work is numbered. The work has a value of between three and four thousand dollars.