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