Monday, August 28, 2023

Jacques André | I want more CAN

Jacques André
I want more CAN
Brussels, Belgium: Triangle Books, 2016
80 pp., 20.4 x 20.4 cm., softcover
Edition of 300

"I Want More" is late-era song by the German band Can. It was released as a single in July 1976 and later included on the album Flow Motion. The song features lead vocals by Irmin Schmidt, and backing vocals by the other members in the group at the time: Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit. It was the band's only single to chart in the UK, peaking at #26, which led to an appearance on Top of the Pops where Holger Czukay mimed a performance on double bass.

The cover graphic of the seven-inch single places the title first so that it appears to read "I Want More Can" (the Breeders' Last Splash functioned the same way - and it was, for almost a decade). This made it an ideal choice for Jacques André, whose practice often involves buying objects in bulk. 

The aim of André's used record store hunt was not to amass a complete discography of the influential "krautrock" band, or acquire coveted rarities. His goal was to purchase as many copies of the same single as possible.  

The work shares a conceptual conceit with Rutherford Chang's We Buy White Albums, in which the artist buys every available copy of the Beatle's eponymous double LP, and Jonathan Monk's hoarding of Sol Lewitt titles. 

In I want more CAN the repetition functions much the way Steve Reich's minimalist music does (I'm thinking of Six Marimbas, my favourite). With the constant repeated motif causing the very slight differences to stand out. Someone (Michael Nyman?) once described it as akin to the way a frog sees - everything is a blur but any movement is highlighted, allowing the frog to catch flies as they whiz by. 

Like in Chang's LP version of We Buy White Albums, the patina of use is foregrounded. The graphic design is the constant, with the discolourations and record ring imprints of age becoming the slight variable. Or small pen scratches: a doodle maybe, or a phone number scrawled on the sleeve during a call when no other paper was available.

I want more CAN is available for €30,00 from Saint Martin Bookshop, here, as well as from the publisher, here

Triangle Books is also offering a signed colour photograph mounted on painted wood for €500.00. The work is available in an edition of 15 [+2 AP], with each photograph unique (below). 

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