Friday, July 14, 2023

Bern Porter | The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou

Bern Porter
The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou  (Window Shade Version)
Cincinnati, USA: Volatile, 1990 
40" x 5" x 2.5" (unrolls to 70")
Edition of 20 signed and numbered copies [+2 AP]

The Last Acts of Saint Fuckyou is a poem presented in alphabetical order, with the same number of acts for each letter. Saint Fuckyou is a comic tyrant, along the lines of Alfred Jarry's Ubu. He is a "common man", so common that that Pope anointed him a saint. 

The poem was first published as a book in 1975 and again as a broadsheet two years later. In 1988 Porter recorded himself reading the diatribe poem for an album called Williamson Street Blues. 

This window shade version followed two years later. It consists of a red ink screen print on a white window shade with maple panel casing. 

"In his 93 years on this Earth, he contributed to the invention of television, worked on the Manhattan Project and the Saturn V rocket, and made the acquaintances of Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Werner von Braun; published Henry Miller, Kenneth Patchen, and Kenneth Rexroth, among others, and knew Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, Allen Ginsberg, and anyone else you might name; exerted a profound influence on the phenomenon known as mail art; traveled hundreds of thousands of miles on cruise ships; was married three times, once happily; spent several years in Guam; was an irascible crank; theorized a union of art and science called Sciart; was briefly committed to a mental institution; wrote more than 80 books, including important bibliographies of Miller and F. Scott Fitzgerald; had a massive FBI file; lived and worked in Rhode Island, New York, Tennessee, California, Texas, Alabama; also Guam and Tasmania; at last settled in Belfast, Maine, where he ran for governor, served on the Knox County Planning Commission, called his house the Institute of Advanced Thinking, barraged the local paper with letters, and at the end of his life subsisted largely on soup kitchens and food gleaned from the munchie tables at art openings."


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