Thursday, November 4, 2021

Aram Saroyan, Top, Primary Information, New York, 1965/2021, 1st edition/60, 2nd edition/240

The writer Aram Saroyan made his name in the '60s as a minimalist, conceptual and Concrete poet best known for his one-word poems. The original press run for TOP was supposed to be 300 copies but for reasons "no longer ascertainable" only around sixty were published. This new version by Primary Information completes the original publication run in a signed edition of 240. 

This concrete poem "...represents a top that spins from slow to fast to slow as the reader moves through the book. The colors and letters (comprising an obliquely glimpsed word) change in accordance with each page to notate the speed of the spinning top. Produced as an accordion fold with taped seams, TOP can be read as a book or unfolded to stand on a shelf or table." [quote from the statement on back page of the work].

From a purely technical and formal point of view, this beautiful accordion is made up of a portfolio of individual prints taped together at the seams. While the front and back pages are taped inside and back, the inside pages are only taped on the inside, producing the rather strange sensation of a sticky binding when you run your fingers along the outside edge.

10 single-sided pages (except for last page), individual pages 11" x 8.5", and when fully opened 7' 1".

last page of work

back page

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