Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Robert Watts | Stamps

Robert Watts
New York City, USA: Robert Watts Studio Archive, 1999
28 x 21.5 cm.
Edition size unknown

Commissioned by the Newark Museum for the Rutgers University exhibition OFF LIMITS and the Avant Garde, 1957-1963, this sheet of perforated postage stamps contains a selection of reprints from the artist's 1960s originals.

"Robert Watts is considered the "father" of stamp art. His earliest stamps - beginning in 1960 - were dispensed in stamp machines that he loaded with his own stamps. Several of the machines and the sheets he created are in major art collections world wide.


The stamps on this sheet are reprints from the original sheets of the earliest stamps : SAFEPOST/K.U.K - FELDPOST/JOCKPOST (W.C.Fields) (1961); YAM-FLUG 5-POST-5 (1962) and BLINK (1962-63). The Blink stamp image is a collaboration of Robert Watts, George Brecht and Alison Knowles."

- Publisher's blurb

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moez Surani | عملية Operación Opération Operation 行动 Oперация

An excerpt from Toronto poet Moez Surani's عملية Operación Opération Operation 行动 Oперация, an inventory poem that collects the names of military operations by UN-member countries from the founding of the United Nations to the present, appears in the current issue of Harpers.

The excerpt, titled Noms de Guerre, features a selection of names since the year 2000. The full poem spans 193 countries and 69 years, and contains the names of over 2,300 operations.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Louise Lawler | Untitled (Wheel)

Louise Lawler
Untitled (Wheel)
New York City, USA: The Museum of Modern Art, 1999
2 1/8 x 3 1/2"
Edition size unknown

Produced in conjunction with the exhibition The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect, this crystal paperweight features an image of Marcel Duchamp's earliest (Assisted) Readymade, Bicycle Wheel, in situ at the museum.

Rob McLennan | Convivial

Rob McLennan
Armstrong, Canada: By The Skin of Me Teeth, 2009
18 pp., 16.5 x 11.5 cm., sewn-bound
Edition of 26 numbered copies

Hand-bound with greeting card covers with a Letraset title, and housed in a printed envelope, this book of eleven short poems is published by poet, artist, and performer kevin mcpherson eckhoff. By The Skin of Me Teeth is his "minuscule press dedicated to publishing the absolute dullest writing by both emerging & established authors", which produces chapbooks and artists' books in very limited editions. eckhoff is in town for a performance at Videofag last Thursday.

​Author rob mclennan, born and currently residing in Ottawa, has written nearly thirty books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He won the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2010, the Council for the Arts in Ottawa Mid-Career Award in 2014, and was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012.

His forthcoming poetry collection If suppose we are a fragment (BuschekBooks) launches Thursday the 25th September at Pressed Café (750 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa) at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Emmett Williams | Chicken Feet, Duck Limbs and Dada Handshakes

Emmett Williams
Chicken Feet, Duck Limbs and Dada Handshakes
Vancouver, Canada: Western Front, 1984
64 pp., 7-1/8" x 5-1/2", softcover
Edition of 500

Produced during a residency at the Western Front in September 1984, this book tells the story of Fluxus artist Williams meeting various members of the Dada movement. He recounts shaking hands with Tristan Tzara, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Man Ray, Richard Hulsenbeck and Marcel Duchamp. He never met, shook hands or laid eyes on Picabia, but notes that he shook hands with many of his mourners, on the afternoon of his funeral.

The text is handwritten by Williams and the book is illustrated with his doodles (similar to the cover) and with prints made by using chicken and duck feet as rubber stamps. The artist is photographed with a hammer in hand and a duck's foot in the other, in his 1992 autobiography My Life in Flux and Vice Versa.

"So much happened during month-long residency at the Western Front cultural centre that I recall it as a simultaneity, with no sense of chronology...Kate Craig, curator of the Front's video productions suggested that we work up a video project, but I was so busy seeking out gourmet Chinese restaurants  in Chinatown, and making my book".
My Life in Flux and Vice Versa

The only copy on ABE is listed at $195 (here), but still available from the publisher for $30.00, here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Rainier Lericolais | Quatuor à cordes n°3

Rainier Lericolais
Quatuor à cordes n°3 
Paris, France: Self-published, 2014
18 x 13 cm, audio postcard
Edition of 250 signed and numbered copies

Paris-based artist Rainier Lericolais published this two-minute-and-fifty-four-second audiowork on the occasion of his exhibition Fossils at galerie Frank Elbaz, which ran from April 26th to May 31st of this year.

The show examined tropes and technologies of the avant-garde past, celebrating obsolete technologies. The vinyl postcard represents two such fading everyday items. Despite the sales of vinyl records tripling in the past five years, the total still amounts to less than three percent of total music sales, making the term 'resurgence' a bit of an overstatement. Email, texting and twitter have all obviously replaced the short messages that postcards conveyed - apparently sales have dropped to below 1932 levels, which was not only during the Great Depression, but when the population was less than a third what it is now.

This lo-fi format, typically used for goofy promotional items, with its inevitable additional background noise, contains the work String Quartet #3, which is entirely built from string quartet sound samples.

Visit the artist's gallery page, here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ger van Elk | Bulletin 33

Ger van Elk
Bulletin 33
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Art & Project, 1971
4 pp., 11.7 x 8.3", folded
Edition of 800

The 33rd (of an eventual 156) Art & Project Bulletin announces the Ger van Elk work Paul Klee - Um Den Fisch, 1926 (Around The Fish) from 1970, which consists of eight colour slides projected onto a wooden table with a white cloth. The slides document the artist consuming a meal based on a Klee painting. Van Elk reconstructed Klee’s work with tangible objects, replacing abstract designs with tangible items.

In addition to producing more Art & Project bulletins than any other artist (numbers 19, 33, 55, 65, 74, 100, 132, and 139), Ger Van Elk was also played a crucial role in introducing the Amsterdam gallery and publisher to numerous Los Angeles artists, including Bas Jan Ader (issues 44, 89), William Leavitt (58 and 80) and Allen Ruppersberg (67 and 105).

Van Elk moved from Amsterdam to Los Angeles in 1961, with his father, Peter Van Elk, an animator for Hanna Barbera, who worked on several episodes of the Flintstones. Here he befriend artists such as William Wegman, John Baldessari, and Robert Indiana. He was previously close with Bas Jan Ader, and when Ader also relocated to LA the two shared an apartment together on Sunset Boulevard.

"We wanted to be movie stars," Van Elk told Christophe Cherix in 2008. Their cohabitation was cut short when a neighbour set their house on fire and Ader moved in with his future wife, Mary Sue.

Van Elk had several solo exhibitions at the Art & Project gallery from 1970 to 1987, and (together with Marinus Boezem, Wim T. Schippers and Jan Dibbets) is seen as one of the main representatives of the conceptual art and arte povera movements in the Netherlands. His work was included in Documenta 5, in 1972, and in the influential exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” in 1969.

Ger van Elk died on Sunday (August 17th) at the age of 73.

Bulletin 33 is available for $99 from FTN Books, here.