Friday, June 27, 2014

Edgar Arceneaux, 107th Street Watts, Frankfurt: Revolver Archiv fur Aktuelle Kunst, 2003, ed. 1000

The review below is an excellent summary of this publication and since it's credited to Umbrella magazine, I can only assume that Umbrella's editor, Judith Hoffberg (1934-2009) wrote the piece. Either way it gives me the opportunity to remember a fervent supporter of artists' book who recently passed away.  

Edgar Arceneaux, 107th Street Watts with essays by Charles Gaines, Lynell George and Vincent Johnson (English); 15 x 20 cm, 48 pp., 50 ill., leporello and text booklet in fold-out box (Special edition available. See Editions.) ISBN 3-934823-82-3

“107th Street, Watts by Edgar Arceneaux is a conceptual photographic project shot in the dense historic battleground of Watts, California. “Part of the trajectory of the project and the ideas that have led to its genesis and ultimately its fulfillment, include a desire to produce a number of strong visual counter arcs to a relentlessly mediated social space, as well as a desire to ignite a critique of the narrow histories of Los Angeles’ provocative past. Another aspect of the project, that of expanding the traditional subjects of Southern California artistic practices was to photograph an area of the world both known and also viewed globally through a singular event in its history.” In this case it was Watts and the Watts riot of 1965 and this is an excerpt from the essay, Watts at Sunset” by Vincent Johnson for this book project. Simulating the format of mapping the “Sunset Strip” of 1966 by Ed Ruscha, this bookwork formally mimics the Ruscha book by shooting every building on 107th Street (the location of the historic Watts Towers) in a 7-foot photomontage. The book actually has only one page folded into an accordion, allowing the reader to open and pull it completely out for an undisturbed viewing from end to end. Printed in an edition of 1000, the bookwork is enclosed in a small rectangular box and includes 3 essays by writer Lynell George of the Los Angelees Times and artist/writers Charles Gaines and Vincent Johnson in a separate accordion book. The essays act to contextualize the photographs and also attempt to bridge the voice of the virtual non-existence of any writing about Watts not focused on the riots of 1965. The book seems to want to broad the discourse around the photographic history of Los Angles and become a historical record of Watts. In this, it succeeds admirably.” (Umbrella, 12/2003) 

The panoramic photowork book is 18 pages each of them 6" x 7.5" (H) and fully extended its 9 feet. The text-based book is 20 pages, 
6" x 7.5" (H) and fully extended 10 feet.
The two books that make up the publication, one is the photographic panorama and the other features assorted texts related to the work.

Jennifer Bartlett, Recitative, Baldwin Gallery: Aspen Colorado, 2010

A well produced catalogue/artists' book for a 2010 exhibition at the Baldwin Gallery of Barlett's Recitative that utilised her baked enamel steel plates in a mural that stretched 158 feet around the gallery. The piece, a meditation on color and a back-to-basics research into picture-making, is presented here in bookform in a wonderful simulation of the original. Accompanied by a short essay from Kiki Jai Rai in which she places this piece in the context of a 1976 work, Rhaspody, and observes similar themes being worked out in the present volume. The book has 40 pages, at 6" x 8.5" (H), and fully extended it's 20 feet. 

Scott McCarney, Far Horizons, Rochester: Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1998, ed. 500

In a statement inside the cover flap MaCarney explains that "...Far Horizons is the name of a traditional American quilt square, which this books adopts for its basic pattern." Stitching together panoramic landscapes from various places around the country, McCarney pays homage to these sites that provide him with moments of contemplation as well as a sense of awe at these huge American landscapes.

This accordion includes two different directional turns which when laid out flat creates a solid sheet, precisely what one calls this publication that utilizes essentially two reading directions in one publication — I'm not sure that at the moment!

12 pages, 7" x 7" (H), extended 3' 8."

Reverse side showing folds.

David Horvitz, The Distance of a Day, Berlin: Motto Books and Chert, 2013

An accordion postcard booklet made to accompany a work of Horvitz's that was in Art Basel, 2013. On the reverse is an interview with Horvitz by David Senior. This publication and the piece is premised upon the artist's discovery that "in early February, the California sunset coincides with the Maldives sunrise...." Horvitz engaged his mother in this work that was based upon him wanting " both to watch the sun going either under or over the horizon." Horvitz moved to Maldives to realize the piece and his mother lives by the beach in California. 18 pages 6.5" x 4.25" (h), extended 3' 2.25"

Horvitz is an interesting Brooklyn-based conceptual artist and right now he's  seeking participants for his latest project: 

For $1 USD I will think about you for one minute. I will email you the time I start thinking, and the time I stop.

To participate: Untitled Document

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Marcos Guardiola, Cada Pulpo Con Su Pulpa, Madrid, nd

The title tranlates as "to each his own," and this is a beautifully illustrated double-sided and double-directional accordion. In an online description of himself Marcos states:

I am architect, designer and illustrator. I studied in Madrid at the "ETSAMadrid", in Lisboa at the "Faculdade de Arquitectura de Lisboa" and in Mexico City at the "Facultad de Arquitectura de la UNAM".

I currently live and work in Madrid (Spain).

I like to use colors, textures and despite working with digital media, my work is acquiring an increasing handmade look.

I began illustrating in the newspaper El País where I discovered my predilection for images that speak, even without words. Then, I tried to bring that language to the young audience and I realized that, although we try, there are not many differences. Children are great critics. It was then that my picture book "panda" got a special mention in the "IV Premio Internacional de Compostela", promoted by Kalandraka. 

My work has been published in various media, such as the design magazine Visual, Números Rojos magazine, Diagonal magazine, Courrier International or Creame Books.

32 pages at 4" x4", extended approx 3ft.

Kellie Strom, Worse Things Happen At Sea, London: Nobrow Press, 2014

A wonderful sea shanty of an accordion, and yet another in the great accordion series that Nobrow Press has been putting out over the past couple of years. Mythical creatures, desperate situations, and scary & magnificent deaths explode across this double-sided panoramic accordion. Bold, awe inspiring and beautifully printed. 20 pages 9.25" x 5.5," (h) fully extended 4' 7"
Back cover 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Eroyn Franklin, Detained, 2011

A really fascinating 80 page double-sided accordion that charts the progress of two people through various immigrant detention centers in the Seattle area. One is a man and the other is a women, and their stories are illustrated on either side of this over 25' long accordion. Included with the publication are two oversize drawings that include both people in conversation with their peers. This accordion is an eloquent and unique use of this format to foreground the pressing social & political issues associated with immigration, the detention of immigrants and our larger national immigration policy. 80 pages, 5.5" (h) x 8" (w), open 26' 8". 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ian Hamilton Finlay, 3 works, Lanark: Wild Hawthorn Press, Scotland

3 Constructions, no date. 4 pages 2" (h) x 2.25" (w), open 9.5".

A piece devoted to planks in all of their glory. 4 pages 3.25" (h) x 4.5" (w), open 18" wide. 

Driftwood, planks and lines of foam make visible a very specific environment. 3 pages, 4" (h) x 4" (w), open 12".