Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Axe 3

Axe Magazine
Axe 3
Antwerp, Belgium: G.Schraenen, 1976
[loose leaves] 21.5 x 30 cm., cardboard folder
Edition of 130 signed and numbered copies

Includes Untitled by Brion Gysin, an 8 page card stock booklet by John Giorno featuring an excerpt from his poem Shit, piss, blood, pus & Brains, Bernard Heidsieck's Notes convergent, a and 45 rpm record by Sten Hanson,  Arrigo Lora Totino's Vedo Dove, and other works.

Cover design by Gysin.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Carolee Schneemann
Merry Christmas
London, UK, 1971
14.3 x 9 cm.
Edition size unknown

A postcard featuring Schneemann and filmmaker Anthony McCall (with their cats Kitch and Bathsheba) in 1971. The windowsill (and cat) appear to the be the same as can be seen in Schneemann's 1965 16mm film Fuses.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peter Trepanier Xmas Cards

From an ongoing series of Royal themed holiday cards. 

John Cage Christmas Card

In 1957 John Cage was paid $400 a month to serve as a graphic artist/stylist for the advertising and promotional program for the New York firm of Jack Lenor Larsen, Inc. His contract ran from July 1st to December 31st. It was not renewed.

Towards the end of the year, the head of the company wrote him a respectful letter, sympathizing with his originality and labor, but noting “the job that needed, does need, will need doing, was not complete.” Cage replied with a stinging rebuke, thanking him for the “cursory vocational psychoanalysis” and noting that his working method was "intimately my own" and renowned elsewhere.

Before this exchange Cage was tasked with creating the company's yearly holiday card. He proposed a hand-cut paper snowflake placed in a small handmade Japanese box upon a small piece of one of Larsen's fabrics.  Their discussion was later recounted as follows:

Larsen: John, your idea is a lovely one, but I'm afraid the notion of handcutting hundreds of snowflakes is a bit much. Perhaps we could have them die-cut instead and save you and Merce [Cunningham] the trouble of doing so much work.

Cage: I dont think it would be the same.

L: No, but with the right printer, I doubt I would be able to tell the difference between the two.

C: Perhaps, but I would be able to tell the difference.

L: I've seen this done recently, and the results are quite nice. I'm certain you couldn't tell the difference...

C: Even if I were unable to see the difference, the snowflake would know.

The printed card Cage designed in the snowflake's stead is above. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Recommendations Guest Post #11: Crystal Mowry

[Maggie Groat, ed]
The Lake
Toronto, Canada: Art Metropole, 2014
148 pp., 27 x 21 x 1.3 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Edited by Maggie Groat, with contributions by: Cheyanne Turions, James Algie, Gina Badger, Diane Borsato, Joseph Boyden, Jennifer Castle, Sarah Cullen, Dana Fountain, Maggie Groat, April Hickox, Elle Kurancid, Tiziana La Melia, Maryse Lariviere, Leisure (Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley), Jimmy Limit, Duane Linklater, Tegan Moore, Julie Nagam, Parker Branch, Simon Pope, Sandra Rechico, Ann Sanderson, and Simon Starling.

The Lake is anthology of images and text that serve as “an alternative body of research” on Lake Ontario. If you are familiar with Maggie Groat’s artistic gestures, you will immediately recognize her sensibility throughout the pages of this book. The book’s contributors do a fine job of making Lake Ontario seem elusive, resistant to any singular role within a collective imagination. What I love about this book – and Maggie’s work in general – is how it makes room for aspiration and speculation in the guise of knowledge. By reworking a basic definition of taxonomy to include fiction, poetry, and criticism, The Lake makes a convincing argument for an unconventional approach to the writing of natural histories.  

The Lake can be purchased at Art Metropole in person or online here.

Maggie Groat is a visual artist working in a variety of media including collage, sculpture, artists books, site-specific interventions, and field studies. Forming an ongoing research-based practice, her work explores studies for possible futures, relationships and reconnections to Indigenous land and the interdisciplinary potential of artistic intervention and envisioning. Maggie studied visual art and philosophy at York University before attending The University of Guelph, where she received an MFA degree in 2010. She is lives and works on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. She is represented by Erin Stump Projects, Toronto.

Crystal Mowry is Senior Curator at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Xmas [War is Over]

I am in agreement with the Brits, who consistently vote Fairytale of New York City by the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl as the greatest Christmas song ever. Also in my top five are John and Yoko's Happy Xmas [War is Over], and the lesser known Christmas at the Zoo by the Flaming Lips (here).

So the recent collaboration between Ono and the Flaming Lips, covering Happy Xmas would (on paper) seem like an ideal addition to my small playlist of acceptable Christmas music. It is not.
While it's likely not the worst version of the song (surely that would go to REO Speedwagon or Celine Dion, though I've heard neither), it is certainly less than the sum of its parts.

If you're curious, or a completist, it can be downloaded at Amazon, here.

Fairy Tale of New York City is available on The Best of The Pogues, below, with a cover by William Wegman.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Recommendations Guest Post #10: Tim Ryckaert

Allen Ruppersberg's 'El segundo record club' is an online store by Ruppersberg, full of unique 7'', 10'' and 12'' records and also posters.

It's re-editions and compilations he made of his endless archive of music and clippings. All the records have unique handmade covers and the posters are all unique by different stamps and additions. (the posters are endless editions)
All reasonably priced.

This project was on view at Michele Didier's gallery in Paris some months ago and is still available now via the website:

A wonderful work/project/shop.

Tim Ryckaert & Amélie Laplanche founded MOREpublishers, a Brussels-based publishing house.
Over the last 5 years they published +/- 100 editions and multiples, and curated various shows in Belgium and abroad. They have collaborated with 70 artists including Liam Gillick, Jonathan Monk, Allen Ruppersberg, Joe Scanlan, Jason Dodge, Thomas Bayrle, Thea Djordjadze, Dora Garcia, Maurizio Nannucci, Anri Sala, Robert Barry, Claude Closky and many more. In 2015 they make an postcard-edition project with Jonathan Monk spread over 12 months.
more info on

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Recommendation Guest Post #9: Jim Drobnick

Tired of Christmas carols and bells a ringing? Here are a few alternative audio projects for your holiday listening:

An obsessive take on Beatles fandom and collecting informs Rutherford Chang’s The White Album (2014).

From the description: Created by layering 100 unique copies of The Beatles' White Album, this 96 minute double-LP captures how every copy of the iconic album has been distinctly shaped by its history, both visually and sonically. The 45 year-old albums, with scratches and physical imperfections accumulated with age, all play slightly differently, causing the 100 layers to gradually drift out of sync over the course of each side. The gatefold cover and disc labels are composites of the weathered and graffitied originals. Also included is a 24 x 24 inch poster insert featuring images of the individual covers. This album was made from an ongoing collection of over 900 first-pressings of The White Album.

In SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010 (2014), Michael Rakowitz extracts geo-political ramifications from the Beatle’s break-up.

From the description: In 2010, conceptual artist Michael Rakowitz produced a probing 10-part radio series for a Palestinian radio station in Ramallah, later developing it into a dynamic multimedia event and exhibition titled “The Breakup.” The title refers to the Beatles' disbandment, and by extension the concurrent collaborative, political, and social undoing of Pan-Arabism in the Middle East. This compilation, SABREEN-Live in Jerusalem 2010, is a limited edition, 12" gatefold vinyl LP record of the Palestinian band Sabreen’s live performance, pressed on sky-blue vinyl with a code for an mp3 download. A period-style poster for a never realized 1969 Beatles' concert in Libya and the catalog for “The Breakup” (with essays by Sukhdev Sandhu and Anna Della Subin) are also included.

Who isn’t a believer? Marcel Dzama collaborated with Arcade Fire to produce the soundtrack to Une Danse Des Bouffons (2014). It was distributed in The Believer magazine.

From the description: Marcel Dzama’s art film Une Danse Des Bouffons (translated as The Jester’s Dance) has received a 7″ vinyl soundtrack release. The score is by Dzama with Arcade Fire members Will Butler, Jeremy Gara, and Tim Kingsbury. It consists of four largely instrumental music songs.

-- Jim Drobnick

Jim Drobnick is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at OCAD University, Toronto. He has published on the visual arts, performance, the senses and post-media practices in recent anthologies such as The Multisensory Museum (2014), Senses and the City (2011), and Art, History and the Senses (2010), and the journals Angelaki, High Performance, Parachute, and Performance Research. His books include the anthologies Aural Cultures (2004) and The Smell Culture Reader (2006), and he has co-edited special thematic issues of Public (Civic Spectacle, 2012) and The Senses & Society (Sensory Aesthetics, 2012). In 2012, he co-founded the Journal of Curatorial Studies. He is a co-founder of DisplayCult, a curatorial collaborative (

The Steven Leiber Conceptual Art Study Center

"The death two years ago of the obsessive San Francisco collector and dealer Steven Leiber left a gaping hole in the scholarship of late-20th-century art books and ephemera. But his legacy will live on at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, which has acquired Mr. Leiber’s vast collection of Conceptual art and art materials, as well as his library of reference and artists’ books related to Conceptualism and the Fluxus movement.

In his obituary in 2012, Roberta Smith of The New York Times wrote that while working as a private dealer selling prints, drawings and multiples, Mr. Leiber “bought 21 boxes of ephemera relating to the performance-oriented Fluxus art movement of the early 1960s, the Beat and Concrete poetry movements and the 1960s counterculture,” and “after a year of sorting and organizing the material, he had a new field of expertise: the ephemeral.”

The growing collection, which Mr. Leiber oversaw from an office in the basement of his grandmother’s house, became an essential stop for scholars, artists and curators. The archive included work by influential artists like Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Hanne Darboven, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Kosuth, Lee Lozano and Bruce Nauman.

The Berkeley museum – whose new home in downtown Berkeley, designed by the firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro, is scheduled to open in early 2016 – will name the area of the new building that will house the collection the Steven Leiber Conceptual Art Study Center. With the acquisition, which was a partial purchase and partial gift from the Steven Leiber Trust, the museum and film archive will become one of the world’s most important centers for the study of Conceptual art."

- Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, December 18th, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Recommendation Guest Post #8: Marla Hlady

Knowles does a lot of process based, material-oriented works where she explores a complex collision of how we both understand culturally and experience physically. At the moment this multiple seems to be a rare opportunity to own something that let's us into her process-at-large, including her tendency to collaborate.

"As part of the Properties exhibition (May 3 – June 16, 2013), Devon Knowles removed her large glass beam sculpture from the exhibition space and deposited it directly into the earth beneath the floorboards of the Western Front gallery for an undetermined period. Heard About A Place One Day is a limited edition artist book accompanying the project and features poetry by Jen Hutton and Laura Matwhichuk, an essay by curator Jesse Birch, photo documentation, earth prints of the sculpture, linocut prints and more." (

You can find it here through Western Front, here, for $15.00.

PROMISED LANDS - Robert Hengeveld

Robert does some fairly involved kinetic installations that are kinds of fictional environments. His multiples are a great opportunity to have a slice of his object making. Most recently there's
"Promised Lands: Abridged and Appended", a pop up he produced in conjunction with one of these large scale works.

"The pop up emerges as a visual summary of and reflection on the entire exhibition Promised Lands which took place at the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph, ON, 2014. It represents a condensed collection of thoughts, as well as a few post-production ideas, sandwiched between two pages. It packages a 4000 sq. foot exhibition into 10 sq. inches." (

Available through or through Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects. The pop up is included in 75 of the exhibition catalogues as a limited edition for $130.

Robert has a few other multiples that  I'd like to own. His slowly rotating take-away coffee cup can be found on Art Metropole's site, here,  for $110 and his his salt and pepper shakers that seem to spontaneously break into Morse code can be found on his site

Marla Hlady draws, makes sculpture, works with sites and sounds and sometimes makes video. She is represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery. Upcoming is a concert at the Music Gallery (Toronto) with Alison O'Daniel and Gordon Monahan and a collaborative performance with Christof Migone at Errant Bodies Project Space (Berlin).

Visit her site, here

Holiday Recommendations Guest Post #7: Lee Henderson

Masahisa Fukase
The Solitude of Ravens (or, commonly, "Ravens")
1986 (first edition; various other editions in circulation)

Masahisa Fukase's "Ravens" is utterly chilling. It drips with affect, sorrow, and that un-dead un-presence that undergirds even the most mundane photography and that is palpable in the best photography.

Fukase shot like an obsessive, and he advised his students to do the same--I once heard him quoted as having said that the only difference between a great photographer and a merely mediocre one is that the former understands just how many (many, so many) useless images they'll have to shoot before they get a good one. It should be little surprise, then, that Fukase's "Ravens" is the result of perpetual, compulsive photographic capture of the birds that fascinated him.

His subject is not known for playing nice, obviously, and clearly Fukase has placed his emphasis on punctum over studium--shots are over- or under-exposed, film grain enhanced, enlargements pushed to the point of image degradation. But there's a poverty of means echoing the Zen aesthetics of Japan's history; the work is both hard to parse and deeply seductive. It's a paean to noise and flurry and absence.

A fitting gift for a grieving friend, or just someone you love a whole lot.

(For those interested but not ready to take the $500+ plunge, Fukase-san wrote an excellent piece about shooting "Ravens", and other things, for the Aperture publication "Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers", which gives a glimpse into his character, though obviously with less of the visceral punch of his photographic opus.)

Jon Sasaki
In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning
Toronto, Canada: Nothing Else Press, 2014
9 x 7 x 3 cm
Edition of 50 signed and numbered copies.

This work has been profiled on the blog elsewhere, but here’s what I especially love about it as a holiday gift:

1 - It requires upkeep and refuelling (with fresh potato corpses every once in a while), so it’s up front about its duality as a “Gift", which is to say as both a generous gesture and an obligation to future action on the part of the recipient.

2 - Given its temporal/consumptive nature, it can easily become a seasonal household tradition (“Hey, honey, it’s mid-December and you still haven’t put up the tree or gotten new potatoes for the Sasaki…”).

3 - It uses up said potatoes, leading to the corollary of the above (“Seriously, dear, it’s late-January and you still haven’t thrown out the tree or those dead potatoes…”).

4 - You can appease your inner dad by wrapping the potatoes in foil as stocking stuffers first... it helps if you’re prepared to make “lump of coal” jokes as your loved ones open said stockings.

5 - The mechanism spells out precisely what so many of us are thinking in the middle of familial obligations. Imagine how comforting it would be during Christmas dinner—while sandwiched between your overaffectionate Aunt Agnes and your uncle with the drinking problem, wondering how you’re going to gracefully get out of having to try the aspik salad—to just look over to the mantle and find some potato-powered sympathy in the form of a silent plea for “HELP.”

Lee Henderson is a contemporary artist in Toronto, Canada. Since completing his MFA in Intermedia (University of Regina, 2005), he has been furthering his time- and lens- based artistic practice while teaching conceptual photography and media art (currently at OCAD and Ryerson Universities in Toronto). Notable recent exhibitions and screening venues include The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Magenta Festival Boston, The Zero Film Festival (USA); The Dunlop Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, YYZ Artist-Run Centre, and gallerywest (Canada); Takt kunstprojektraum Berlin (Germany). He works in contemplation of mortality, between the persistence of collective histories and the brevity of individual lives.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Recommendation Guest Post #6: Jonathan Shaughnessy

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Masanao Hirayama's (HIMAA) "book and edition: 5182," the paper wallets the artist makes which "last about a month".

What says the holiday season more than the smell of a new leather, ahem, paper wallet wrapped and sitting under the tree? I've gone through two of these lightweight cash and card holders so far which I get far more than a month out of. They come in two colours: the first edition in a yellowy ochre, the second edition in gray. He has also made wallets out of Chanel and other brand name paper shopping bags (I can't seem to find an image of these online, but Art Met has carried them), and most recently he is offering a "Special Wallet" which offers a reward if found. Available here.

Perhaps this is the wallet I should be investing in this Christmas as I started using these paper wallets about six months ago, when my slim leather wallet with money clip (that I quite coveted) was stolen out of my jacket pocket while I was eating lunch in a food court...!

Jonathan Shaughnessy is Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada whose recent exhibitions include “100 Years Today,” in Shine a Light (2014), the NGC’s third Canadian Biennial; Vera Frenkel: Ways of Telling (2014) at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA); Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque co-curated with Josée Drouin-Brisebois and Catherine Crowston at the Art Gallery of Alberta and MOCCA (2013-14); Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012; and Louise Bourgeois: 1911-2010 (2011-2013). In 2010, he was coordinating curator of the exhibition Pop Life: Art in a Material World for the NGC, organized by Tate Modern. He has written essays and catalogues on the work of many Canadian and international artists, sits on numerous advisory boards and committees including Art Metropole, the Toronto Kunstverein, and the Terra Nova Art Foundation, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

Holiday Recommendation Guest Post #5: vs vs vs

Last year while participating in Art Athina we were booth buddies with Cube Art Editions, a great Greek publication house that we all fell in love with. This publication is the latest in a long string of great editions.

Cube Art Editions were founded in 2001 by Eleni Saroglou, publishing art books, art-theory books, reference books and artists’ books.

Christos Lialios and Katerina Vazoura
Day by Day
Athens, Greece: Cube Art Editions,  2014
416 pp., 14 x 19 cm., softcover
Edition of 500

A diary for 2015 by Christos Lialios and Katerina Vazoura, published by Cube Art Editions, in a limited edition of 500 copies. Diaries are an ongoing project that Christos Lialios has been doing since 2010. This year a common wall diary is photographed to create a new one. Each month it is placed in a different setting to focus on the recurrence of time through its movement in space. One movement, one day, one page.

Price: 20 €

Cube Art Editions
Αργυρουπόλεως 25
114 71, Αθήνα

Available here.

We are VSVSVS (pronounced versus versus versus), a seven-person collective and artist-run centre based out of a warehouse in the portlands of Toronto. Formed in 2010, our activities encompass collective art making, a residency program, a formal exhibition space, and individual studio practices. Our collective work focuses on the collaborative production of multiples, drawings, video works, sculpture, installations, and performance.  VSVSVS is included in a year long group exhibition at the Jackman Humanities Institute, through Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, curated by Yan Wu. We will be travelling to Centre Bang in Chicoutimi for a late winter residency/exhibition. VSVSVS will also have a summer exhibition at Mercer Union.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Recommendations Guest Post #4: derek beaulieu

Natalie Czech

I Can Not Repeat What I Hear
Hamburg, Germany: Spector Books, 2014
139 pp., 24 x 33 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Berlin’s Natalie Czech creates uncanny limit-case poems that point to the end of erasure texts, each piece a seemingly impossible conjuring of texts within texts.

Czech’s I Can Not Repeat What I Hear is an awe-inspiring book of literary conjuring. I Can Not Repeat What I Hear places text-based visual poems within larger textual fields, embedding them into the margin-to-margin written from which they assert themselves. Every page tests what we, as readers, can accept as plausible, as reasonable, as do-able. Czech is a literary magician.

I Can Not Repeat What I Hear catalogues Czech’s recent exhibition of text-based art and includes excerpts from several distinct pieces, each of which is astonishing.

Czech has commissioned friends to write letters in her voice on each of the colours described in Rimbaud’s poem “Voyelles,” an uncanny mirror-house folding of correspondence where voice and exchange becomes blurred behind the potentials of Rimbaud’s original poem.
Czech has also scoured an unfathomable number of magazines and popular culture scraps and has found embedded—in a mind-blowing act of literary archaeology—evidence of famous modernist poems embedded in larger blocks of texts like fossilized dinosaur feathers preserved in the crush of shale. Czech simply highlights the uncanny occurrence of entire poems, photographs them in situ and exhibits these bravado acts of poetic discovery as troubling the line between poetic and photographic documentation. A single example of this seemingly impossible task is enough to incite jealousy and wonder at the audacity of Czech’s find.

Complimented by a pair of explanatory essays, one by Julien Bismuth and one by Kenneth Goldsmith, I Can Not Repeat What I Hear is an exceptional example of what can be done with a non-poetic poetic.

Available from Motto Distribution, here.

derek beaulieu is the author or editor of 15 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and kern (Les Figues press, 2014). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Recommendations Guest Post #3: kevin mcpherson eckhoff

i'm sending along two, not because i'm trying to be an asshole, but because i believe in both of them. my first choice, a holiday-themed gem, turned into a bit of a foible. impossible to find much online for the press, but here's the something i have on it:

bp nichol,
A Christmas Foible
Mount Pleasant, ON: Laurel Reed Books, 2014
12pp, 8.5" x 5.5" hand-sewn chapbook
Edition of 166

A facsimile of a single-edition handwritten chapbook gifted to Nelson Ball and Barbara Caruso by nichol in 1969. Hand-stamped covers.

$10 (includes shipping)

by paypal:

by cheque:
Laurel Reed Books
206 Ellis Ave
Mt. Peasant, ON
N0E 1K0

the second choice i believe in with a year-round cure-ye-aw-city! and it's of/by a current young and real artist writer, so maybe better to give props to the living? also, tried to mimic the biblioinfo style, but this second one seems a li'l meesy... apologies for any inconsistencies.

Gionvanna Olmos
Gio vanna, gi gio vaNn a
Zurich, Switzerland: LUMA/Westbau, 2014
76 pp., 4.25" x 7", perfect-bound
Open edition

Number 213 in the LUMA Foundation and 89 plus exhibition Poetry will be made by all!

Order here:

kevin mcpherson eckhoff is a poetty performancer. he sometimes designs books (, sometimes stands up (, and sometimes has a a book ( please write his death scene and send it to: