Saturday, July 31, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
An Interrupted Poem / In Memory of d.a.levy
Toronto, Canada: Ganglia Press, 1969
[16 pp.], 11 x 7 cm., staple-bound
Edition of approx 100 copies
The 24th title in the "5¢ Mini Mimeo Series", which also included publications by Gerry Gilbert, Margaret Avison, Jiri Valoch, David UU, Bill Bissett, Victor Coleman, George Bowering, Michael Ondaatje, and publishers bpNichol and David Aylward.
jw curry states that there were "approximately 1oo copies produced, with a small variant on green paper”.
The work is dedicated to Cleveland, Ohio poet and publisher d.a.levy, who died of a gunshot to the head the year prior, at the age of 26. Most assume that levy took his own life after several years of police harassment, intense media coverage and court trials after being fined for obscenity. New York writer Mike Golden maintains that he he was murdered by police for his anti-establishment writings.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Let’s Take Back Our Space
Berlin, Germany: Frauenliteratur Verlag, 1979
366 pp., 24 x 19 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown
Brilliantly illustrating Sol Lewitt’s axiom that “Art shows come and go but books stay around for years”, Let's Take Back Our Space became a legacy project for the artist who took sick shortly after producing it and left the art world for the remainder of her life.
Marianne Wex first presented her extended photo essay in a group exhibition in 1977, and soon after was diagnosed with a serious illness, leading her to leave her art practice behind, and travel the world researching alternative medicine. As best as I can gather, she did not make another work in the forty-one years between this and her death in the autumn of last year.
In 2009, Let’s Take Back Our Space was exhibited for the first time since its unveiling and has shown at least once every year subsequently. The work is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Subtitled Female and Male Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, the work features 2037 photographs of men and women and asserts that body language is a result of sex-based, patriarchal socialization, affecting all of our other "feminine" and "masculine" role behaviour.
Anticipating the phrase "manspreading" thirty-five years ago, the volume illustrates how feminine postures are closed and protected, while masculine postures are expansive:
"[Women will sit] legs held close together, feet either straight or turned slightly inward, arms held close to the body. In short, the woman makes herself small and narrow, and takes up little space." Men, on the other hand, sit "legs far apart, feet turned outwards, the arms held at a distance from the body. In short, the man takes up space and generally takes up significantly more space than the woman.”
Let’s Take Back Our Space is considered to be Wex’s lone surviving art work.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Gus Van Sant
Santa Fe, USA: Twin Palms Publishers, 1992
 pp., hardcover
Edition of 4000
Stark, unadorned portraits taken in Portland, New York and Los Angeles between 1988 and 1992 by film director Gus Van Sant.
The images include casting polaroids from his earliest films, such as Matt Dillon, William S Burroughs and Heather Graham (Drugstore Cowboy) and River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves (My Own Private Idaho). Portraits of other filmmakers include Robert Altman, Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola, Todd Haynes and John Waters. Featured musicians include Tracey Chapman, David Bowie, David Byrne, and Flea and Anthony Keidis from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.