Monday, November 30, 2020

Eleanor Antin | Library Science

Eleanor Antin
Library Science
Halifax, Canada: NSCAD, 1972
7.5 x 12.5 cm.
Edition size unknown

An invitation to Antin's week-long exhibition show "Library Science" at NSCAD, which was held from February 1 to 9, 1972. For the exhibition, Antin appropriated the Library of Congress’s classification system to classify “a sub-set of the world of people” (i.e. women). 

The exhibition invitation mimicked Library Card Catalogue systems, something Antin also did for shows in Glendale and Valencia. 

“Each participant in the exhibition of women artists was asked to provide me with a ‘piece of information’ of any form that she felt appropriate at this time. Twenty-six participants repsonded. Each 'piece of information’ (object or document) was classified for subject as a book in accordance with the classificational system of the Library of Congress…All of the 'pieces of information’ were exhibited beside their 'subject catalogue cards.’” 
- Eleanor Antin

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Ben Vautier | Art is a question of signature (portfolio of 9)

Ben Vautier 
Art is a question of signature (portfolio of 9)
Ramatuelle, France: Atelier Laage, 1977
32 x 23.5 cm. 
Edition of 80 signed and numbered copies

Nine silkscreened signs investigating the idea of the artist's signature: defaced, ephemeral, forged, obscured, illegible, missing, etc. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Sophie Calle | Bronx

Sophie Calle   
Paris, France: Item Editions, 2002
unpaginated., 30.5 x 24.8 cm., loose leaves
Edition of 250 signed and numbered copies [+ 20 AP]

A project completed by the general public in both solicited and unsolicited ways, Bronx was the first exhibited work by French artist Sophie Calle. Produced over forty years ago, in 1980, the work was part of a city-wide group exhibition titled “Une Idée en L’Air.” 

Calle approached strangers on the streets of New York's South Bronx and asked them to take her to the one place they would most remember if they ever relocated away from the area. The resulting work, which was originally titled Waiting for People to Come to Fashion MODA and Asking them to Take me Wherever They Want in the South Bronx, featured unsentimental portrait photographs and texts about the chosen places. 

Calle was taken to mostly private places with some personal significance, like a grade school classroom or gardens, Yankee Stadium. One participant brought her to a borough that the Pope had blessed the year prior. A man took her to a bank, saying, "I used to have a bank account. I would like another one.”

“The day before the opening I hung the photos and the texts on the wall," Calle later recounted. "That night, an unexpected and providential collaborator broke into the gallery and covered every possible surface with graffiti.” She decided that having the works tagged made them "much better" in the end. 

The series - still bearing the graffiti marks - now resides in the permanent collection of the Bronx Museum. 

In 2002 Item Editions produced a bilingual reprint of the original 1980 work  - a debossed leather cover housing nine prints. It is valued at around $500 US. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Alex Grunenfelder | 25.47m2

Alex Grunenfelder
Seoul, Korea: Self-published, 2020 
624 pp., 28.8 x 28.3 cm, hardcover 
Edition size unknown

"Produced during an artist residency in Seoul Korea, 25.47m2 is a 624-page book explores the relationship between printed matter and spatial environments. Taking inspiration from Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “On Exactitude in Science” in which he imagines an enormous map equal in size to the empire it represents, 25.47m2 contains the floor plan of a typical 274 square-foot Seoul officetel apartment reproduced at a 1:1 scale and tiled over 312 recto pages. The book’s 312 verso pages show a corresponding life-size and optically flattened photograph of the entire contents of the apartment.

Philosophically the book investigates the role of text, image and the gaze in creating and prehending space, and the inherently dual nature of printed matter as both object and representation, substrate and image. The floor plan, a graphic sign that serves as the primary document in defining the prospective real estate asset, typically operates at a high degree of formal abstraction. Rendering the plan at 1:1 eliminates the abstraction of scale and materializes the document as an object that physically embodies the surface area it represents, collapsing the separation between the plan and the space into a singular object. When reading the book the reader is literally traversing the dimensions of the apartment.

The form of a bound book inherently fragments this space into pages, preventing the spectator’s eye from grasping a total overview. There is no unified gaze, sightline or focal point. Instead, the eye must traverse the space in a serial fashion, one page at a time, with no view of what lies ahead and only a memory of what has preceded. Fragmenting the plan and photo into a sequence of uniform segments affords equal consideration to every square foot, yielding a very close reading of the space.

The project has also been presented in the form of 2 exhibitions. The launch at the RAT school of ART in Seoul presented the book within a contiguous life-size installation of the floor plan. At the Vancouver Art Book Fair the book was presented alongside the complete 1:1 photo rendered on a single 25.47m2 sheet of paper."

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Robert Watts | $ Bills In Wood Chest

Robert Watts
$ Bills In Wood Chest
New York City, USA: Fluxus, [c1975]
17.8 x 41.3 x 9.2 cm.
Edition size unknown

A wooden box containing offset lithographs of Bob Watts' Dollar Bill work from 1962. The bills were originally designed to be distributed in large quantities, with the idea of devaluing both art and currency. 

The bill was also included in Fluxus 1, and the Anthology of Contemporary Engraving: The International Avant-Garde: America Discovered: Volume 5

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Gerald Ferguson | Selected Works

Gerald Ferguson
Selected Works
Halifax, Canada: Anna Leonoewens Gallery/Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, 1974
14 pp., 8vo., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

From a twelve-day exhibition held in March of 1974, this slim publication documents work from 1969 to 1973. Ferguson, who arrived in Halifax in 1969, and taught at NSCAD until 2006, was one of the preeminent Canadian conceptual artists, and a primary force behind the rise of the school's influence. 

Available on Ebay, for $330 US, here

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Linda Neaman | Foot Facts

Linda Neaman
Foot Facts
Buffalo, USA: Hallwells, 1983
[18] pp., 22 x 14 cm., staple-bound
Edition size unknown

Top Stories was a prose periodical featuring experimental writing by women authors and artists. The series included staple-bound booklets by Jenny Holzer, Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, Pati Hill, Mary Kelly, Cookie Mueller, and others. 

The series is published by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center in Buffalo, New York, an artist-run centre founded by Charles Clough, Robert Longo, Diane Bertolo, Nancy Dwyer, Larry Lundy, Cindy Sherman and Michael Zwack in 1974. 

The fifth issue (of a total of 29 publications) presents an analysis of how women’s feet have been objectified and tortured over the years. Neaman's writings are illustrated with images of high heels, self-defence instructions, and reflexology charts.

Foot Facts is Neaman's second publication, after Sex & Monsters (also published by Hallwells, in 1980). Her third book, Dead Stuff, was published almost thirty years later, in 2012.

Foot Facts is available from Printed Matter, for $30 US, here

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Ken Friedman | Cleanliness Flux Kit

Ken Friedman
Cleanliness Flux Kit
New York City, USA: Fluxus, 1969
10 x 12 x 2.3 cm.
Edition size unknown

Conceived in 1966 and produced the following year, the Cleanliness Flux Kit features soap papers, sanding devices and other things pertaining to cleaning. The seven-compartment box features an offset label designed by George Maciunas (below) who described it as "a steam box with head sticking out...".

For another example of the work, see earlier post, here.

George Maciunas
Mechanical for Cleanliness Flux Kit
c. 1968
19.5 x 28 cm.

Cut-and-pasted gelatin silver print on paper with transfer type and ink.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Rubber Stamps Volume 1 #10

JH Kocman [Aart van Barneveld, ed]
Rubber Stamps Volume 1 #10 
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Stempelplaats, 1978.
23.5 x 16.5 cm.
Edition size unknown

The tenth issue of the monthly rubber stamp art periodical is focused on the work of JH Kocman, and includes a biography, listings of exhibitions, stamp techniques, stamp activity as well as a chronological list of all stamps the artist ever made, from 1970 - 1978. The edition includes a blue rubber stamp print of the final stamp by the artist, which reads 'Sorry, I make stamps never more! JHK, 1978'.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Yoko Ono | Peace is Power Pencils

Yoko Ono
Peace is Power Pencils
New York City, USA: Museum of Modern Art, 2019
7.25" (each pencil)
Edition size unknown

A gift-shop multiple to coincide with the MoMA's commission of Ono's Peace is Power installation last year (see below). The pencils read "Think Peace", "Act Piece", "Spread Peace", "Imagine Peace" and "Peace is Power". 

"Yoko Ono wanted a space that was soothing and calming; she chose the third floor Loggia. Like a lot of her previous work, she dealt with the theme of peace, in this case her slogan "Peace is power." From the minute I went to meet her in her apartment, she said, "I know what I want to do. I want an affirmation that peace is power." We started from there and she developed a wallpaper that looks like the sky and ottomans that look like fallen clouds. The fabric she used for the furniture says "yes, yes, yes" in her handwriting. The phrase “Peace is power” repeats on the windows in 24 different languages Ono selected. It was not an easy phrase to translate because peace and power don't have the same meaning in all different cultures."

- commissioning curator Yasmil Raymond

Saturday, November 14, 2020

MoMA Sale

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is currently offering several of their titles at up to 75% off, including books on Robert Rauschenberg, Yoko Ono, Walid Raad, Bjork, Louise Lawler, Elaine Sturtevant, Dieter Roth, and many others. A Gilbert and George vinyl record is also part of the sale. 

Visit their website, here, for details. 

Sol Lewitt | Nine Pyramids on a Nine Part Grid

Sol Lewitt 
Nine Pyramids on a Nine Part Grid
New York City, USA: Tanglewood Press, 1991
33 x 73.7 x 73.7 cm.
Edition of 15 [+ 6 AP] signed and numbered copies

Valued at approximately nine thousand dollars, the work consists of painted cast polyurethane resin pyramids screwed into a  Formica base which is signed and numbered in ink on the underside.