Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stephen Perkins, I AM..., C-print, 2011

This accordion takes as its inspiration the "I AM A Man" placards carried by striking African-American sanitation workers in Memphis in April 1968 and immortalized in the famous photograph by Ernest Withers. I understand this poster to be a call to be treated with dignity and equality as well as being a proud declaration of humanity.

My use of this iconic text is set within the larger context of the attack on unions, public workers and teachers in the state of Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker. As a resident of this state and a public worker within the university system, I am experiencing first hand both the ideological and financial repercussions of Walker's radical Republican agenda.

This piece is meant as a statement of pride in being a public servant as well as a message of resistance against the negative rhetoric and extraordinary actions being taken against state workers in Wisconsin.

Individual pages 6" x 4", fully extended 6" x 24"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yves Tanguy, Untitled, 1928, Art Institute of Chicago

Accordion publications share many similarities with folding screens and this one by Tanguy (1900-1955) can be found in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Size: single panel 78.75" x 23.5", extended the combined length of the eight panels is 15' 8". Below is the information on the label accompanying the work. 

Largely self-taught, Yves Tanguy joined the Surrealists in 1925 and quickly developed his own vocabulary of organic, amoebalike shapes that populate dreamlike settings. The Surrealists sought a revolution of everyday consciousness through the critique of reason and the promotion of fantasy and unconsciousness, and many tried to provoke surreal experiences in their works by interweaving the familiar and the unfamiliar. Little information exists about the circumstances of this screen's production, but Tanguy probably made it for a patron's home. Many Surrealists were interested in the decorative arts, and other domestic objects. In this whimsical example, the screen, while retaining its traditional function of closing off the private world, simultaneously opens dream and fantasy up to the public sphere. 

© 2012 Estate of Yves Tanguy / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Ugo Gattoni, Bicycle, London: Nobrow Ltd., 2012

Another wonderful accordion from the London-based Nobrow press. This drawing, that utilizes the panoramic features of this format, depicts a surreal bicycle race through the streets of London. One odd feature about the figures in the race is that there are only a handful that are recognizably female. Individual pages 13" x 8", the extended 10 pages are 6' 8" long. To browse Nobrow's other 8 accordion (concertina) publications see: Nobrow
Detail of front
 Detail of back
Artist's biographical information on the inside back flap of the folder that encloses the accordion

Monday, September 3, 2012

Alice Tchakedjian, E.C.G. Report, June 12, 2012

My wife recently had to go to Cairo, Egypt to help her mother after she'd had major surgery and upon her return she handed me this 'accordion' (extended: 4.5" x 28.25"). Sadly, Alice Tchakedjian passed away in Heliopolis on August, 1st, 2012. This post is in her memory.  

Deborah Stein, Goat Nurse for the Royal Tot, 1992

A spontaneous and fresh accordion by this former Iowa City artist who found her metier in New York making a cool range of jewelry under the moniker Bonbon Oiseau: Bonbon Oiseau Measurements: 4.25" x 9" (extended)