Monday, July 31, 2023

Illegal America

[Papo Colo & Jeanette Ingberman, Editors]
Illegal America
New York City, USA; Exit Art, 1982
[27], 28 x 21.5 cm., boxed loose leaves
Edition size unknown

Artists Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman founded Exit Art in 1982 as a space for “unusual” art. A few months prior, they curated an exhibition at Franklin Furnace on the theme of art that had run afoul of the law. The works ranged from so-called desecrations of the American flag to Charlotte Moorman playing the cello topless to Chris Burden having his assistant shoot him in the arm with a rifle to the occupation of abandoned buildings by the Real Estate Show.

The catalogue consists of 27 folded sheets in a brown cardboard box, mostly artists' statements and documentation. The box is sealed shut with an American dollar bill. To open it you had to slice through the bill, itself an illegal act.  (A 1948 law states that "Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.")

The catalogue features contributions byVito Acconci, Gempei Akasegawa, Louis Aragon, Scott Billingsley, Marc Blane, Gunther Brus, Barry Bryant, Chris Burden, Papo Colo, Bogomir Ecker, William Farley, John Fekner, Lou Forgione, John Giorno, GAAG, John Halpern, Abbie Hoffman, Sam Hsieh, Jay Jaroslov, Komar & Melamid, George Maciunas, Gordon Matta Clark, Ann Messner, Richard Mock, Peter Monnig, Charlotte Moorman, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch, Dennis Oppenheim, People's Flag Show, Jan Van Ray and Real Estate Show.

Responding to the social and political climate of the time, the curators re-staged the exhibition eight years later, in 1990. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Peter Morin and Jimmie Kilpatrick | Love Songs To End Colonization

Peter Morin and Jimmie Kilpatrick
Love Songs To End Colonization
Regina, Canada: Dunlop Art Gallery, 2022
12" vinyl LP
Edition size unknown

Side A: The First Cut Is The Deepest, in the style of Cat Stevens/What's Love Got To Do With It, in the style of Tina Turner/Not The Lovin Kind, in the style of Buffy Sainte-Marie/Hello Darlin', in the style of Songs Ohia/Turn Out My Lights, in the style of Justin Townes Earle

Side B: Sweet Nothing in the style of Calvin Harris/High Flyin' Bird in the style of Richie Havens/Black River in style of Amos Lee/Who Made Who in the style of ACDC

Side C (Karaoke Instrumental versions): The First Cut is the Deepest/What's Love Got to Do With It/Not The Lovin Kind/Hello Darlin'/Turn Out My Lights

Side D (Karaoke instrumental versions): Sweet Nothing/High Flyin' Bird/Black River/Who Made Who

A week today, Struts Gallery (in partnership with Sappyfest) will present a live performance of Love Songs at the Bill Johnstone Memorial Gazebo in Sackville, New Brunswick. The free event begins at 5 and ends at 7pm. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer turns 73 today. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Dieter Roth | Ins Meer (Im Meer)

Dieter Roth
Ins Meer (Im Meer)
Cologne, Germany: Rudolf Reiser, 1970
8.6 x 20 x 17.8 cm.
Edition of 100 signed and numbered copies

A toy plane made of sheet metal and blue coloured icing in a cardboard box. The title translates to "Into the Sea". 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Sinéad O'Connor And Karen Finley | Jump In The River

Sinéad O'Connor with Karen Finley
Jump In The River
London, UK: Ensign Records, 1988
12", 45 RPM, vinyl record
Edition size unknown

Sinead O'Connor and performance artist Karen Finley both released their debut albums in 1987; The Lion and the Cobra and The Truth Is Hard to Swallow, respectively. 

The pair met the following year when they were both performing as part of a concert hosted by the human rights activist group Refuse & Resist (see their Keith Haring designed logo below). The event took place the New York Palladium, and featured performances by Afrika Bambaataa, De La Soul, Lenny Kaye, D.O.A., MC Lyte, and others. 

O'Connor had recently contributed a new song to Jonathan Demme's film Married to the Mob, and was preparing a single release. She invited Finley to participate in the 12" remix of Jump in the River, to be issued that October. 

True to form, Finley's vocal contribution ensured no radio station would ever play it: 

Mother, do you have a prick?
Yes, I do, just like cows do
Mother, do you have a prick?
Yes, I do, just like cows do
After my mother washed me, powdered me, I insisted that she masturbate me
You wonder why I got panic attacks
You dreamed you ate me through my silken panties
But baby, you got it wrong
I don’t smile when I come
Jump-start me
Jump-start me
Jump, jump, jump, jump
Ain't got a leg, but i got a stump
Ain't got a dick, baby, but i got a pump
Ain't got a titty, but i got a lump
Never knew how to walk, so i gotta jump
Jump-start me
Jump-start me
Jump in my arch
Jump on the starch
He loved to wear silk knotted scarves around his neck, baby
Finger them, finger the scarves
He twists the scarf around my neck, baby
I wish he was twisting it around my clit
I mean, my dick, i mean, my cock, baby
Twist it, twist it good, twist that silky scarf
Well, you sell those ties on madison avenue
Work me, work me good
And you perform that magic trick good
By taking that silk tie, oiled, knotted
Pull it out of my ass
Oh, let me come, let me come

(I used to play it at closing time, when I wanted to empty the record store where I worked of customers). 

Village Voice critic Robert Christgau described Finley's part as "the voice of mad lust on a dance remix of the ravishingly sexual Jump in the River." The single failed to chart and the song (without Finley) was included on O'Connor's breakthrough smash sophomore album I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got

It was announced yesterday by her family that Sinéad O'Connor had died at the age of 56. No date or cause of death were given. 

For another performance artist related track by O'Connor, click here for her cover of Yoko Ono's Death of Samantha. 

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein died on this day in 1946. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Clocks (mostly functional) by Jon Sasaki, Ricky Swallow, Sara MacKillop, Fluxus, Tauba Auerbach, Bruno Munari, Lenka Clayton & Phillip Andrew Lewis, Bob Watts, Tim Hawkinson. GuyGuyGuy, Per Kirkeby Eunice Luk, George Brecht, Yoshitomo Nara and Marti Guixe.  

Two of the works are titled Envelope Clock: Sara MacKillop's numbered envelopes which fan out to mimic a clock and Tim Hawkinson's envelope with functioning clock hands made from the clasp.