Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Unshelved: Lawrence Weiner tonight at the AGO

Tonight at the Art Gallery of Ontario, librarian Donald Rance will host visitors at an informal presentation of book works and multiples by Lawrence Weiner.

It's a drop-in event at the E.P. Taylor Library & Archives, between 6 and 8pm.

Philip Glass turns 81 today

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dave Dyment | 'Ere Long Done Do Does Did

Dave Dyment
'Ere Long Done Do Does Did
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2018
128 pp., 5 x 7", hardcover in slipcase
Exhibition copy

The result of about five years worth of research, 'Ere Long Done Do Does Did is a 128-page bookwork comprised entirely of pages from literature, poetry, film criticism and true crime books which have been source material for song lyrics by Morrissey and the Smiths. The pages are presented facsimile, and arranged in sequential order, according to the original page number. The first sentence in the volume is a line paraphrased for Morrissey's "I Know Who I Love" and the final line is lifted for the Smiths' "Well I Wonder".

The title comes from "Cemetry Gates", a song on the Smiths 1986 LP The Queen is Dead:

You say : "'Ere long done do does did"
Words which could only be your own 
And then produce the text 
From whence was ripped 
(Some dizzy whore, 1804) 

The song cites Oscar Wilde as a kind of patron saint of plagiarism, and his famous quote on the subject ("Talent borrows, genius steals") was etched in the vinyl run-out grooves of the first single from the album, "Bigmouth Strikes Again".

Conversely, the lyrics warn against appropriation, and of a busybody "with a big nose who knows, you'll trip you up and laugh when you fall". However, elsewhere in the song this stanza:

All those people, all those lives
Where are they now? 
With loves, and hates 
And passions just like mine 
They were born 
And then they lived 
And then they died 
It seems so unfair 
I want to cry

is borrowed, almost wholesale, from the play The Man Who Came To Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart:

All those people, all those lives. Where are they now? Here was a woman like myself, a woman who once lived and loved, full of the same passions, fears, jealousies, hates (...) I want to cry.

The cover graphic features Elizabeth Smart, the Ottawa writer whose 1945 classic novella By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept was used as the source of numerous early Smiths songs, and a few solo tracks. The verso features an image from the home of Joe Orton and his lover (and eventual murderer) Kenneth Halliwell. The walls are collaged with pages that the couple tore out of library books. The Smiths' song title "Death at One's Elbow" is taken verbatim from Orton's diaries, and the playwright was initially considered as a cover star for one of the band's LPs or singles.

The hardcover copy in a wooden slipcase pictured above is the exhibition copy. The work is sold as a softcover book, accompanied by one of six prints (see above), for $300 CDN. The prints are images of six of the source titles (of approximately 80), which have been annotated with colour coded tabs.

Contact for details.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Holzer protest

In lieu of a white rose at last night's Grammy award ceremony, Lorde (the only woman nominated for album of the year, and the only album of the year nominee not invited to perform) showed her solidarity with the TimesUp movement by wearing a text from Jenny Holzer's Inflammatory Essays (1979-1982) stitched into her dress:

Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take courage, for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstance can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom.

Jeffrey and Humphrey

[Marcel Dzama and Neil Farber]
Jeffrey and Humphrey
Winnipeg, Canada: Record Club Records, 2017
7" 45 rpm single
Edition of 200

The inaugural release from Record Club Records, a label collectively run by members of the Winnipeg based record club (Paul Butler, Jonathan Dueck, Michael Dumontier, Simon Hughes, Evan Johnson, Paul Robles, John K Samson, Todd Scarth, Caelum Vatnsdal and Nils Vik), Jeffrey and Humphrey is a project by "two prominent Winnipeg artists" who play the roles of rapping dinosaurs - Jeffrey, Humphrey and Dumb Buddy.

The minimally designed packaging is intended to preserve the anonymity of the artists, and the mystery of the date it was recorded.

Available for $15 from Into The Music, Winnipeg, @birdsnestrecords, and MKG127 in Toronto.

"With my headphones on, I entered the video world of Jeffrey and Humphrey, two snaggle-toothed hand puppets with long fanged beaks and mysterious Eastern European accents who preside proudly over their hubcap collection and belt out their instant classic "Doggie ain't got no bone!" I defy anyone to remain immune to their charms for more than 25 seconds."
- Sara Milroy, Globe and Mail, 2003

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Stephanie Cormier/Dave Dyment | Untitled [Eavesdrop]

Stephanie Cormier/Dave Dyment
Untitled [Eavesdrop]
Toronto, Canada: Self-published, 2018
Dimensions vary, 90 minutes
Edition of 3 signed and numbered copies [+2 AP]

Vintage bakelite phones from the 40's and 50's have been retrofitted to play audio from an iPhone which contains a feature film-length collection of telephone conversations where the subjects are being wiretapped or listened in on, or believe they are. The listener becomes implicated in their surveillance, overhearing the stunted cadence and reticence of the cautious and paranoid characters (“I...can’t speak...right now...”).

Robert Rauschenberg | Shades

Robert Rauschenberg
West Islip, USA: Universal Limited Art Editions, 1964
35.5 x 35.5 cm.
Edition of 24

Six lithographs on Plexiglas panels: one mounted permanently and five interchangeably in a slotted aluminum frame, which is illuminated by an intermittent light bulb.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Derek Sullivan | The Missing Novella

Derek Sullivan
The Missing Novella
Oakville, Canada: Oakville Galleries, 2016
2 pp., 23 x 15 x .6 cm., poster on boards
Edition of 300

Derek Sullivan's practice has long-featured the book as both form and subject matter, as well as the notion of the decoy (not to mention his love of the concertina). This beautifully designed project combines all three - a folded poster is wrapped around two stiff boards to suggest a novel.

Produced on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, from September 15th to January 3rd, 2016 at Oakville Galleries, the title features a text by curator Jon Davies and photography by Toni Hafkenschied.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Cary Leibowitz | Homo

Cary Leibowitz
New York City, USA: Self-published, 1989
9 x 5 cm.
Edition size unknown

The artists' business card, from the late eighties when he used the moniker Candyass.

This Week on Tumblr: Artists' Plates

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jenny Holzer | Inflammatory Essays: Shriek When the Pain Hits During Interrogation

Jenny Holzer
Inflammatory Essays: Shriek When the Pain Hits During Interrogation
Berlin, Germany: Texte zur Kunst, 1996
5 x 6.8 x1.27 cm.
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies [+ 20 A.P.]

Pewter with engraved text, and the artist's incised signature with edition number on the verso (along with the manufacturer: C. Roule Design, New York).

Estimated value: $2000 US.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Martin Creed | Everything is Going to Be Alright

Martin Creed
Everything is Going to Be Alright
London, UK: Pier Trust, 1999
12.4 × 14.3 cm.
Edition of 2000

Founded by Alex Sainsbury in 1997, the Pier Trust (now known as PEER) is an independent organization that commissions ambitious arts projects by British and international artists. In 1999 they commissioned Creed to produce an outdoor neon work, for which this three-track CD single is titled.

Work No.203: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT is Creed's first neon work, a material he would subsequently return to countless times. The work is thirteen metres in length and half a metre in height, and permanently displayed across the façade of an initially derelict building, which now is part of the Clapton Girls’ Academy.

Built in 1825, the Portico was originally home to the London Orphan Asylum until a local typhoid epidemic required that the residents be relocated. It was then purchased by The Salvation Army for use as a training barracks. At this time the word ‘SALVATION’ was painted onto the entablature in large white letters. The Salvation Army left in 1970, leaving the building disused and eventually partially demolished.

When interviewed about the meaning of the work, Creed responded "It means everything is going to be all right".

The accompanying CD was conceiving as part of a as a singular "exhibition which exists simultaneously in the public and private realm". Recorded by David Cunningham (of the Flying Lizards), the disc features Creed on vocals, guitar and harmonica.

Two of the tracks ("I Like Things" and "I Can't Move") would later appear on the Art Metropole EP I Can't Move, with "Nothing Is Something" otherwise unreleased. The songs are subtitled Works No. 207 through 209.

Available from Hauser and Wirth, here, for €61.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kiki Smith | Yolk

Kiki Smith
New York City, USA: A/D Editions, 1999
1.9 x 3.8 x 3.8 cm.
Edition of 150

Fabricated by glassblower Johnathan Christie, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bruno Munari | Libro illeggibile

Bruno Munari
Libro illeggibile
Mantua, Italy: Corraini Ediozoni, 1984
32 pp., 10.0 x 10.0 cm.
Edition of 1000 copies, 100 of which were signed and numbered

Now in it's seventh edition, this 1984 title is from a series of “libri illeggibili” (unreadable books) which date back to 1949. The text-free series emphasizes playful formalism: the colour of the pages, the cuts and their successions. There are no title pages or colophon.

Available from the publisher, here, for only 5.00 €.