Sunday, May 31, 2020

Christo | Wrapped Bouquet of Roses

Wrapped Bouquet of Roses
New York City, USA: Self-published, 1968
8.8 x 60.9 x 11.4 cm.
Edition of 75 signed and dated copies

Christo died at his home in New York City today, at age 84. His romantic and collaborative partner Jeanne-Claude died on November 18, 2009.

Bernadette Mayer | Memory

Bernadette Mayer
New York City, USA: Siglio Press, 2020
336 pp., 10 x 7.25"., hardcover
Edition size uknown

Originally published in 1975 (see previous post), long out of print and selling for between two and five hundred dollars on the secondary market, Bernadette Mayer's Memory has just been re-issued by Siglio Press. The new title features 1100 colour illustrations, while the original was strictly text.

"In July 1971, Bernadette Mayer embarked on an experiment: For one month she exposed a roll of 35mm film and kept a daily journal. The result was a conceptual work that investigates the nature of memory, its surfaces, textures and material. Memory is both monumental in scope (over 1100 photographs, two hundred pages of text and six hours of audio recording) and a groundbreaking work by a poet who is widely regarded as one of the most innovative writers of her generation. Presaging Mayer’s durational and constraint-based diaristic works of poetry, it also evinces her extraordinary—and unheralded—contribution to conceptual art.

Mayer has called Memory “an emotional science project,” but it is far from confessional. Rather, this boldly experimental record follows the poet’s eye as she traverses early morning into night, as quotidian minutiae metamorphose into the lyrical, as her stream of consciousness becomes incantatory. The space of memory in Mayer’s work is hyper-precise but also evanescent and expansive. In both text and image, Mayer constructs the mercurial, fleeting consciousness of the present moment from which memory is—as she says—“always there, to be entered, like the world of dreams or an ongoing TV show.”

This publication brings together the full sequence of images and text for the first time in book form, making space for a work that has been legendary but mostly invisible. Originally exhibited in 1972 by pioneering gallerist Holly Solomon, it was not shown again in its entirety until 2016. The text was published without the photographs in 1975 and has been long out of print."

- Siglio Press release

The title is available from the publisher, here, for $45 US. Also available is a signed and numbered deluxe version, in an edition of 31 copies. These copies are accompanied by a unique 6x 9 archival print housed in a vellum envelope inside the book. The special edition is currently available for $235. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Bernadette Mayer | Memory

Bernadette Mayer
Planfield, USA: North Atlantic Books, 1975
196 pp., 8.9 x 6.5 x 0.4 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Mayer's fifth book began in July of 1971 when she began experimenting with her memory. She shot a roll of 35mm film every day for a month, and kept a rigorous journal. In February of the following year, Memory was shown at 98 Greene Street in New York City: the unedited photographs were mounted on the wall in chronological order, while a recording of narration played over speakers.

“It’s a diary of one month. I wrote incessant notes and made drawings about everything that happened every day.  I wrote down as much as I could without interrupting my life.  It was the month of July, 1971.  I had chosen the month at random without knowing what I would be doing during that month, because I didn’t want to choose a time to do this experiment that would be particularly loaded, or particularly interesting or dull.”

"MEMORY was 1200 color snapshots, 3 x 5, processed by Kodak plus 7 hours of taped narration. I had shot one roll of 35-mm color film every day for the month of July, 1971. The pictures were mounted side by side in row after row along a long wall, each line to be read from left to right, 36 feet by 4 feet. All the images made each day were included, in sequence, along with a 31-part tape, which took the pictures as points of focus, one by one & as taking-off points for digression, filling in the spaces between."

- Bernadette Mayer

The title is long out of print, but last week Siglio Press has released an expanded version, which couples the text and images together for the first time. See next post. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Santiago Sierra | El Trabajo Es La Dictadura

Santiago Sierra
El Trabajo Es La Dictadura
Madrid, Spain: Ivory Press, 2013
87 pp., 15 x 10.5 cm., soft cover
Edition of 1000

An artist book consisting of the title handwritten over and over again, by thirty workers recommended by the National Employment Service and paid minimum wage to fill out a thousand blank notebooks as a performance in January of 2013. The phrase El Trabajo Es La Dictadura translates to "Work is a Dictatorship".

Many of the artist's best known works involve the hiring of labourers to complete menial tasks.

"What I do is refuse to deny the principles that underlie the creation of an object of luxury: from the watchman who sits next to a Monet for eight hours a day, to the doorman who controls who comes in, to the source of the funds used to buy the collection. I try to include all this, and therein lies the little commotion about remuneration that my pieces have caused."[2] More specific to his questioning of art institutions and capitalism, he said "At the Kunstwerke in Berlin they criticized me because I had people sitting for four hours a day, but they didn't realize that a little further up the hallway the guard spends eight hours a day on his feet...any of the people who make those criticisms have never worked in their lives; if they think it's a horror to sit hidden in a cardboard box for four hours, they don't know what work is...And of course extreme labor relations shed much more light on how the labor system actually works."[2] Sierra has a displayed interest in visibility and invisibility. He explains the result of his work that pursues these interests, saying "The museum watchman I paid to live for 365 hours behind a wall at P.S.1 in New York told me that no one had ever been so interested in him and that he had never met so many people. I realized that hiding something is a very effective working technique. The forgotten people want to communicate..."

- Santiago Sierra

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Keith Haring | Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks

Keith Haring
Manhattan Penis Drawings for Ken Hicks
Zurich, Switzerland: Nieves, 2019
152 pp., 14 x 20 x 1.5 cm.,
Edition size unknown

"One of the key figures in the New York art world of the 1980s, Keith Haring (1958–1990) created a signature style that blended street art, graffiti, a Pop sensibility, and cartoon elements to unique and memorable effect. With thick black outlines, bright colors, and kinetic figures, his public (and occasionally illegal) interventions, works on canvas, paper and sculptures have become instantly recognizable icons of 20th century visual culture.

Haring’s Manhattan Penis Drawings deliberately eschew eroticism in their repetitive, decorative patterning of male genitalia. The works, made in the late ’70s, interestingly foreshadow the political turn Haring’s work would take in response to the AIDS crisis. The sketches shed light on the concerns that preoccupied Haring during his formative years in the city that would so define his artistic practice—namely, the forging of a direct and immediate visual language and the translation of the personal and political into universal experience."

- publisher's blurb

Available from Art Metropole here, or the publisher, here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Turner Prize Replaced with funds for struggling artists

The Turner Prize remains one of the most prestigious art awards in the world, providing £40,000 to the winner, as well as extensive media coverage. Named after the English painter J. M. W. Turner, the annual prize has presented to a British artist working in any media since 1984. Past winners include Martin Creed, Steve McQueen, Chris Ofili, Rachel Whiteread, Anish Kapoor, Gilbert & George, Damian Hirst, Jeremy Deller, Susan Philipsz, Mark Leckey, Douglas Gordon, Richard Long, Gillian Wearing, etc.

Last year the shortlisted artists (Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani) requested that the award be shared collectively, which was granted. This year the award the award has been called off in favour of emergency funding:

"Britain’s Turner Prize will not be awarded this year. Instead of announcing the artists shortlisted for the prestigious contemporary art award, organizers revealed today that they have opted to call off the prize’s fall exhibition, which would have run from September 30 to January 3, 2021 and featured new work by the artists, and will instead divide its $123,000 program fund into $12,000 bursaries that will be given to ten artists affected by the Covid-19 pandemic."

Read the full story at Artforum, here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Wen-You Cai | When You Make No Art

Wen-You Cai
When You Make No Art 
New York City, USA: Self-published, 2019
276 pp., 17.5 x 11 cm., paperback
Second edition of 500

Originally published on the occasion of the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting in 2016, When You Make No Art is a collection of writings by Wen-You Cai, daughter of the acclaimed artist Cai Guo-Qiang and founder of Special Special.

Special Special is a gallery, retail outlet, and publisher of art editions "for everyday appreciation" located at 44 E 1st St. in New York.

Cai's autobiographical account of growing up in the art world is accompanied by photographs from her own archive.

The title is available here for here, for $30 US.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Josh MacPhee | Wash Your Hands

Josh MacPhee
Wash Your Hands
Brooklyn, USA: Justseeds, 2020
[84] pp., 24 x 16.5 cm., staple-bound
Edition of 200

The 23rd title in the MacPhee's Pound the Pavement series is a four colour Risograph print and four single-colour Riso zines, housed in a riso-printed manila envelope.

"A couple years ago I started collecting graphics of hands I found on signage out in the world, particularly ones containing two hands. I had an idea to use them to create a zine called Many Hands Make Light Work, but the reality is that almost all of the graphics with two hands were from bathrooms: hand washing instructions. Not so useful for a project about labor, but strangely perfect for one about a pandemic. So here I present 78 instructional icons about washing and drying your hands, collected between 2015–2020, assembled into four 5.5” x 5.5” booklets and an 11” x 17” poster."

- Josh MacPhee

Available from the publisher, here, for $15 US.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Claudia de la Torre | Door stoppers

Door stoppers is a made-to-order book object by Claudia de la Torre. It is available for one hundred Euros from BackBoneBooks, here.

Friday, May 22, 2020

I love Closky

Claude Closky
I love Closky
Paris, France: Frères Ripoulin, 1985
Colour offset sticker
4 x 27 cm.
Edition size uknown

Closky turns 57 today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Vito Acconci | Think/leap/re-think/fall

Vito Acconci
Dayton, USA: Wright State University. University Art Galleries, 1976
[56] pp.,  21 x 20 cm., paperback
Edition size unknown

Acconci's working notebook for the exhibition "The Middle of the World".

Monday, May 18, 2020

Richard Tuttle | Octavo for Annemarie

Richard Tuttle
Octavo for Annemarie
Zürich, Switzerland: Galerie Annemarie Verna, 1990
13.7 x 11.4 cm.
Edition of 5 [+4 AP] signed and numbered copies

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Erik Kessels | In Almost Every Picture #3

Erik Kessels
In Almost Every Picture #3
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: KesselsKramer/Artimo, 2004
178 pp., 15.5 × 20 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Self-portraits of deer taken with a motion sensitive camera. With a text by Tyler Whisnand.

Note: various sources list the page count as 148, 178 and 224.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys was born in Krefeld Germany on this day in 1921.

Monday, May 11, 2020

A poster for a "benefit concert and dance party" held forty years ago today, in aid of Volume, the international catalogue and directory of audio work in the arts.

The event was hosted by One Ten Records, the short-lived NYC-based label ran by visual artist and archivist Bob George, from the late seventies into the early eighties. One Ten released Laurie Anderson's debut single Oh Superman, Jackie Apple's Mexican Tapes, and the 1977 Airwaves compilation (which featured Anderson, Apple, as well as Vito Acconci, Terry Fox, Meredith Monk, Dennis Oppenheim, etc.). 

Anderson performed on the bill with Peter Gordon's Love of Life Orchestra (Gordon was a frequent collaborator of Anderson's, as well as Suzanne Vega, David Johansen, The Flying Lizards, David Van Tieghem, Lawrence Weiner, and Arthur Russell) and Glenn Branca.