Category Archives: Visual poetry

Poésie pour pouvoir

Henri Michaux (1899-1984), Poésie pour pouvoir. Text and frontispiece by Michaux. Design and linocuts by Michel Tapié (Paris: René Drouin, 1949). Copy XII of 46, signed by Henri Michaux et Michel Tapié. Teak wood portfolio printed with the title and fitted with 34 steel nails. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process. Provenance: Collection of Geneviève and Jean Paul Kahn.

Is there a way to release the magic of poetry stagnating within conventional printed literature? Can you make a book with the power to exorcise a condition or complaint? These are some of the questions that led to Poésie pour pouvoir, with poetry by Henri Michaux (1899-1984) integrated into pictorial linocuts by Michel Tapié (1909-1987) and published in February 1949 by Galerie René Drouin in Paris.

Only a handful of copies of this singular “book-object” as Michaux and Tapié conceived it with the nailed wood cover were completed, in fact only two others can be found in North America besides the one now held in the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University.

A seminal work of post-war Paris, the story of Poésie pour pouvoir’s production is also magical. It began in the late 1930s with Michel Tapié’s involvement in “Les Réverbères,” a neo-Dada group, which led to his collaboration with Aline Gagnaire on the hand-printed publications Le Cheval de 4 and Deda L-E. Tapié eventually joined René Drouin’s gallery as artistic advisor, focusing on the promotion of a wide circle of artists that included Henri Michaux.

 

In 1947, Henri Michaux and his wife traveled to Egypt, where the magical power of hieroglyphics inspired the poems, “Je rame” and “À travers mers et desert.” These texts went unpublished until Tapié proposed to “put them into a space in the form of a book-object.”

Using the crisp, quick black and white technology of linoleum block printing that Tapié perfected while working with the Réverbères, he designed and cut Michaux’s words so they fluctuated between white text on black shapes and black text on white pages incorporated with his own abstract figures. The majority of the 46 copies were produced with only a paper cover.


A full recounting of the year leading up to February 1949, when the final work was exhibited at Drouin’s gallery, can be found in Tapié essay “Commentary on an exorcism,” Les Cahiers de la pléiade 1950.

“…. Mon projet de départ était de graver ce texte sur lino, le lino étant la technique la plus brutale et la plus directe des violentes oppositions de noir et de blanc, et de présenter l’ensemble des tirages dans une couverture de bois clouté, l’ensemble du travail étant jour par jour suivi et approuvé par Henri Michaux; L’esprit d’aventure qui préside aux activités de René Drouin poussa celui-ci à accepter le risque d’édition avec enthousiasme, et il mit l’équipe de sa galerie à notre disposition pour une rapide réalisation. Rapide en effet il le fallait; Michaux nous avait bien prévenus: si nous n’allions pas vite, le poème, lui, irait plus vite que nous et se retournerait contre nous… je pus assez vite graver tous les éléments n nécessaires à l’édification de la maquette complète.

The book’s construction took place at the Drouin family farm, under the daily supervision of Michaux. René Drouin (1905-1979) chose the arrangement of the nails on the covers, Aline Gagnaire (Tapié’s former collaborator) pieced together the wooden cover, and Drouin’s son, Jean-Claude, cut the nails to be hammered into the cover (originally plywood and only later teak wood).

Tapié was almost done with his share of the printing when he became ill and could not finish, leaving it to Gagnaire to complete the book. So many things went wrong, they called it was a cursed project, fueling the myth of a magical book.


As for his part, Michaux wrote:

 “La force exceptionnellement opératoire de ce poème, jointe au fait de son élection unique, centrant justement sur ce texte toutes les intentions d’intervention-de pouvoir-de l’auteur, me donna une furieuse envie d’en faire une édition où je tenterais de forcer les usages du livre dans le même rapport d’échelle qu’Henri Michaux l’avait fait ici par rapport non pas seulement à la poésie, mais même, comme je ne le sentis d’ailleurs que bien plus tard, à l’usage, par rapport à ses plus efficients exorcismes. Le problème consistait à fabriquer un objet receleur de force supportant ce texte de sorte que sa vue, son contact, tant épidermique que musculaire provoque au maximum l’expansion effective de cette force, puisque magie il y avait.

 

It is a tragedy that OCLC no longer allows local notes. To find copies that include the rare nailed wood cover, a reader must log into every library in the world individually. Otherwise they would not know, for instance, that Houghton Library has copy no. V with “unbound sheets, as issued, laid into original printed paper covers; in original hinged wooden boards, with title printed on cover, decorated with metal studs. In burlap-covered board slipcase.”

It was Tapié’s idea to pound nails into the wooden binding using the same aggressive energy as Michaux’s incantatory texts. The action references the practices of the Romans, who manufactured defixion or curse tablets, as well as African practices of incorporating nails into power figures called nkisi nkondi. The physical hammering of the nails into Poesie pour pouvoir was meant to embed magical powers into the book, just as Tapié’s pictographs unleashed the power in Michaux’s words.

 


Galerie René Drouin closed in 1950 (later revived in a different format), Michel Tapié went on to promote Art informel, from which Michaux distanced himself, continuing to draw and write in his own personal style. No other magic book-objects were attempted.

 

For more on this and other works by Michaux, see Raymond Bellour’s Henri Michaux Ouvres Complete (Gallimard, “Bibliothèque de la Pléiade”, 1998), https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uva.x004550124&view=1up&seq=1276&q1=%22poesie%20pour%20pouvoir%22

Henri Michaux (1899-1984), Commentaire d’un exorcisme ([Paris: Librairie Gallimard, 1950?]). Beach 3269.96.325. Presentation copy to Sylvia Beach with inscription by Henri Michaux.

 Le Cheval de 4 (Paris: M. Tapié, A. Gagnaire, J. Jausion, H. Bernard, 1940). Graphic Arts Collection Q-000727. Issued in 4 fascicles. Each has a separate title: [no. 1] “Le Cheval de 4” (“tirage limité à 26 ex. hors commerce et 6 ex. de luxe”) ; [no. 2] “Dédal-e” (“Tirage limité à 28 ex. hors commerce et 3 ex. de luxe”) ; [no. 3] “Huit poèmes pour Cécile / Noël Arnaud” (tiré à 150 ex. environ dont 35 de luxe) ; [no. 4] “Expédition Tapié” (tiré à 27 ex.).

 

 

Also designed by Michel Tapié while at Galerie René Drouin: Francis Picabia (1879-1953), 491 (Paris, René Drouin, 4 mars 1949). Marquand Oversize ND553.P58 T36 1949e. “50 ans de plaisirs” par Michel Tapié. Catalog in newspaper format issued Mar. 4, 1949 for Picabia exhibition of 136 works dated 1897-1949.

 

A section of Poetry for Power in translation:
I row
I have cursed your brow your belly your life
I have cursed the streets your steps pursue
The objects your hand grasps
I have cursed the inside of your dreams

I have put a puddle in your eye and it no longer sees
An insect in your ear and it no longer hears
A sponge in your brain and it no longer understands

I have chilled you in the soul of your body
I have frozen you in the depth of your life
The air that you breathe suffocates you
The air that you breathe has an air of cellars
Is an air that has already been exhaled that hyenas have expelled

The dung of this air no one can breathe any longer

Your skin is moist all over
Your skin sweats the sweat of the great fear
Your armpits exhale from afar an odor of crypts
The animals halt when you pass
The dogs howl in the night their heads raised toward your house

 

 

 

Poetamenos (Minuspoet)

Augusto de Campos, Poetamenos (São Paulo: Edições Invenção, 1973). Graphic Arts in process

As leading voices in Brazilian concretism or concrete poetry, Augusto de Campos (born 1931), his brother Haroldo de Campos, and Décio Pignatari founded the Noigandres group and its literary magazine, Noigandres; antologia do verso à poesia concreta in the 1950s. Like Europeans such as Stéphane Mallermé, the Noigandres were interested in exploring the visual elements of written or printed words, along with sung or spoken performances of these texts, which they called verbivocovisual.

Here is a small portion of the biography on his website that mentions Poetamenos (Minuspoet):

Born in São Paulo (Brazil) in 1931, poet, translator, literary and music critic. In 1951 he published his first book of poems, O REI MENOS O REINO (The King Minus the Kingdom). In 1952, with his brother Haroldo de Campos and Decio Pignatari, he launched the literary magazine “Noigandres”, the origin of the Noigandres Group which initiated the international movement of concrete poetry in Brazil. The second issue of that magazine (1955) contained his series of color¬poems POETAMENOS (Minuspoet), written in 1953, and considered the first consistent examples of concrete poetry in Brazil. Verse and conventional syntax are abandoned and the words are rearranged in graphic patterns. sometimes printed in six different colors, under inspiration of Webern’s Klangfarbenmelodie.

In 1956 he participated in the organization of the First National Exhibition of Concrete Art (Painting and Poetry) in the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo. His work has since been included in many international exhibitions, as well in world¬known anthologies like “Concrete Poetry: an International Anthology”, edited by Stephen Bann (London, 1967), “Concrete Poetry: a World View”, edited by Mary Ellen Solt (University of Bloomington, Indiana, 1968),” Anthology of Concrete Poetry”, edited by Emmet Williams (NY, 1968). Most of his poems were assembled in VIVA VAIA,1979, DESPOESIA, 1994, and NÃO (with a CDR of his Clip-Poems), 2003. Other important works are POEMOBILES (1974), CAIXA PRETA(Black Box)1975, collections of object-poems in collaboration with the graphic artist and designer Julio Plaza. —http://www.augustodecampos.com.br/biografia.htm

 

See also:
Mary Ellen Solt, ed., Concrete Poetry: A World View (1968).

Emmet Williams, ed., An Anthology of Concrete Poetry (1967).

Douglas Thompson, “Pound and Brazilian Concretism,” Paideuma (Winter 1977): 279-294.

Claus Clüver, “Languages of the Concrete Poem,” in Transformations of Literary Language in Latin American Literature, edited by K. David Jackson (1987), pp. 32-43.

Augusto De Campos, Décio Pignatari, and Haroldo De Campos, Teoria da poesia concreta, 2d ed. (1975).

Yve Alain Bois, Geometric Abstraction: Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Collection. Abstracción Geométrica Arte Latinoamericano En La Colección Patricia Phelps De Cisneros. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 2001.

Cintrão, Rejane, and Ana Paula Nascimento. Grupo Ruptura: Arte concreta paulista. São Paulo, SP: Cosac & Naify, 2002.

Bandeira, João. Arte concreta paulista: Documentos. São Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 2002.

João Bandeira, Grupo Noigandres, textos João Bandeira, Lenora de Barros (São Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 2002). Marquand Oversize PQ9661.C64 B35 2002q

Guillermo Deisler and the Peacedream Project


 

The Chilean-born visual poet Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995) was imprisoned in 1973 under the Pinochet government before being exiled to France, Bulgaria, and finally Germany. It was in Halle (Saale) that he began publishing the international mailart portfolio known as the Peacedream project UNI/vers(;) together with Hans Braumüller, Theo Breuer, David Chikladze (Georgia), Pedro-Juan Gutierrez (Cuba), Joseph Huber (Germany), César Figueiredo (Portugal), K. Takeishi-Tateno (Japan), Spencer Selby (USA) and many others.

“For the Latin Americans,” wrote Deisler, “including some of us right now, that voluntarily or driven by political circumstances are obligated to exile, those that work in ‘art by mail’ transform into a palliative that neutralizes this situation of ‘deceased citizens,’ the name coined by Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos for this massive emigration of cultural workers from the South American continent”

Published between 1987 and 1995 in 35 numbers, Deisler edited each issue focused on visual and experimental poetry. “The project encouraged visual and experimental artists to submit 100 works. 40 artists were put together in one issue, each artist receiving a copy of the magazine. Uni/vers (;) transmitted messages and poetry with simple matters. It was poetic communication bearing in mind the mass being available. In its best case an issue was simultaneous poetry in a collective form without censorship or borders.”–From http://centrodedocumentaciondelasartes.cl.;

The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to acquire a partial run of UNI/vers(;) as well as a small group of his artists’ books and concrete poetry.

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Exclusivo hecho para usted (Juego) (Antofagasta, 1971). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

Gregorio Berchenko, Knock-out: poemas visuales / Gregorio Berchenko; cubierto, Guillermo Deisler (Antofagasta, Chile: ediciones Mimbre, [1971?]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Poemas visivos y proposiciones a realizer (Antofagasta: Ediciones Mimbre, 1972). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Poesia visiva en el mundo / selección y notas de Guillermo Deisler (Antofagasta, Chile: Ediciones Mimbre, [1972?]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Le cerveau (Marseille: Nouv. Eds. Polaires, 1975). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Stamp, 1990. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), UNI/vers(;): visuelle und experimentelle Poesie international: Magazin 1 / 5 jahre 5 years peacedream project uni/vers(;) 1984 – 1992 / peacedream project uni/vers(;) visuelle und experimentelle … (Berlin, 1992-1994). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process
See all issues online: https://www.fondazionebonotto.org/en/collection/fluxus/deislerguillermo/8403.html

Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), Everything I do is poetry (Cleveland, OH: Generator Press, 1996). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020 in process

Metametrica

When we were offered a copy of Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz’s 1663 book on metametrica, with a series of engraved plates that could be described as visual poetry, it was a happy surprise to find it already in our vault. Historians have labeled the plates anagrams, pattern poems, echo poems, and rebuses while Caramuel called his work “labyrinths, hexagonus, and retrogrades”. No matter the tag, he was obviously having fun with Latin and letters (although our colleagues fluent in Chinese are unimpressed with his attempt at Eastern metametrics).

 

Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (1606-1682) was a Cistercian priest and a prominent figure in the Spanish Golden Age. One biographer notes:

He was a precocious child, early delving into serious problems in mathematics and even publishing astronomical tables in his tenth year. After receiving a superficial education at college, where his unusual ability brought rapid advancement, this prodigy turned his attention to the Asiatic languages, especially Chinese. …His books are even more numerous than his titles and his varied achievements; for, according to Paquot, he published no less than 262 works on grammar, poetry, oratory, mathematics, astronomy, physics, politics, canon law, logic, metaphysics, theology and asceticism. –L. O’Neil, L. (1908). Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 30, 2020 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03329c.htm

The complete volume can be downloaded here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=ucm.5317972478&view=thumb&seq=41

Juan Caramuel Lobkowitz (1606-1682), Ioannis Caramuelis Primus calamus ob oculos ponens metametricam : quae varijs currentium, recurrentium, adscendentium, descendentium, nec-non circumvolantium versuum ductibus, aut aeri incisos, aut buxo insculptos, aut plumbo infusos, multiformes labyrinthos exornat (Romae: Fabius Falconius excudebat, anno 1663). Rare Books Oversize PA8485.C374 P74 1663q.

Read: Dick Higgins Pattern poetry: guide to an unknown literature / Dick Higgins; with appendices by Herbert Francke … on Chinese pattern poetry, and a comparative study by Kalānāth Jhā … on the Citrakāvyas of Sanskrit and the Prākrits (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987. PN1455 .H54 1987

Jed Rasula, Steve McCaffery, Imagining Language: an Anthology (MIT Press, 2001). P120.I53 I46 1998

 

 

See also Library of Congress post by Nathan Dorn https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2011/12/caramuel%E2%80%99s-metametrica-and-the-probability-of-law/

 

 

Sergeĭ Sigeĭ


Designed and printed by the visual poet Sergeĭ Sigeĭ (1947-2014), this text was originally written in 1943-44 by the futurist poet Aleksei Kruchenykh (1886–1968). His poetry in turn is a tribute to Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852) the father of the absurd in nineteenth-century Russian literature.

In the introduction Sigeĭ explains:

“The late Kruchenykh did not write trans-sense poetry, instead, with a mysterious smile, he was re-writing classical literature. This work is easily understood in the context of contemporary debates about ‘postmodernism’; the great futurist turned out to be ahead of ‘the first Russian postmodernists’…”

This and other similar volumes were published by the Yeysk State Museum of History and Local Lore in Southern Russia, notable for holding the first international exhibition of concrete poetry in the Soviet Union, as well as first exhibit of mail art in 1989–1990.

 

 

Alekseĭ Kruchenykh (1886-1968), Arabeski iz Gogoli︠a︡; [predislovie, podgotovka teksta i shriftovai︠a︡ aranzhirovka Sergeĭ Sigeĭ] ([Eĭsk]: Otdel zhivopisi i grafiki Eĭskogo istoriko-kraevedcheskogo muzei︠a︡, 1992). Firestone PG3476.K76 A822 1992. [Originally written 1943-1944–p. 4].

The poet Aleksei Yeliseyevich Kruchyonykh belonged to the Futurism movement in Russia along with Vladimir Mayakovsky, David Burliuk and others. He wrote the libretto for the Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun (1913), with sets provided by Kazimir Malevich. He married Olga Rozanova, an avant-garde artist, in 1912; four years later, in 1916, he created his most famous book, Universal War. He is also known for his Declaration of the Word as Such (1913)

Homer’s “Odyssey” and Owen’s “Sing to Me”

We hosted a visit this week from Professor Reeves’s class “The Classical Roots of Western Literature,” which focuses on the classics of the Western literary tradition from Antiquity through the medieval period, including Apollonius of Rhodes’s Jason and the Argonauts, Apuleius’s The Golden Ass, Dante’s Inferno and others.  This week they read The Odyssey and so, we focused on the calligraphic work of Jan Owen’s “Sing to Me” with text by Homer.

The group had so many questions about the work, donated to the Graphic Arts Collection by Lynne Fagles, that an email was sent directly to the artist. The wonderful Ms. Owen replied immediately with an explanation of how the work came about and the inspiration for her interest in calligraphy. Here are a few of her words.

In 1997, I was invited to participate in Perspectives, the Art of the Book at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME. That fall, I got a call from Lynne Fagles who said her husband had seen and liked my work and would I do a piece with words from his new translation as a Christmas present. I had read excerpts of The Odyssey in high school so began to read. I asked her to help me select text and she sent some of his favorite passages, which I marked and posted in my copy of the book. She had also asked that Greek text be included and this was before everything could be found on the web. Fortunately a local theological school had a copy of The Odyssey in Greek.

Several years before the Portland show, I’d wanted to work large on paper but not have to frame under glass. I experimented with hanging accordion fold books and liked the relief of the form. After doing several, they seemed to look ‘old’ and I began weaving in strips of gold painted paper, now Tyvek, to give texture to the surface and to be like a new communication code. The little basketmaker’s twist gives the strips dimension but can still fold flat. The weaving was also a fitting reference for The Odyssey. The ink changes color to give more variety—and to try to keep doing something a computer can’t do. Robert Fagles gave me permission to use the translation and I’ve included passages in several pieces [in addition to Sing to Me].

http://www.janowenart.com/

Little Sparta

If you are in Europe in July, you should find your way to Pentland Hills near Edinburgh and the garden of visual poetry known as Little Sparta created by Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006). On July 13 and 14, 2017, there will be a symposium entitled “Ian Hamilton Finlay: Little Fields, Long Horizons,” exploring new critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on the Scottish poet, artist and avant-gardener. http://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/conferences/ian-hamilton-finlay-little-fields-long-horizons

The keynote address, “Between Spoils and Gifts,” will be delivered by Susan Stewart, Avalon Foundation University Professor of the Humanities, Princeton University. http://www.ed.ac.uk/literatures-languages-cultures/events/events-archive/between-spoils-and-gifts


Stewart writes, “This talk looks closely at Ian Hamilton Finlay’s place in the art history of his time by considering his most fundamental departure from prevailing avant-garde practice: that is, his immersion in history. Focusing upon his ‘Roman’ practices of epigraphy and spoliation and his larger transformation of the bounds of the gesamtkunstwerk, we can glimpse the many ways he pursued an art that could evade the novelty of the present. Hamilton Finlay took a long, difficult, and revisionary journey through the past in an effort to reach into the future.”

Born in Bermuda, Finlay and his wife Sue purchased the five-acre plot in 1966—originally named Stonypath—and immediately began redeveloping the physical space. They constructed ponds, rivers, paths, and unexpected visual moments, eventually renaming the area Little Sparta in the 1980s, in part “a reference to its relationship with Edinburgh, known as the Athens of the North.” Today, the land is part of a national trust: http://www.littlesparta.org.uk/home.htm

“Little Sparta is not just a garden but an entire art work,” says Derek Brown, a production designer and Gardenista reader, and our guide on this visit. Brown’s connection to Little Sparta began when he was a boy, living nearby as the creation of the garden got underway. Recently Brown returned for a visit and found Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden to be “deeply personal and engaging, a total immersion into his world.” http://www.littlesparta.org.uk/home.htm

 

See also:
John Dixon Hunt, Nature over again: the garden art of Ian Hamilton Finlay (London: Reaktion, 2008). Marquand Library (SA) SB457.6 .H866 2008

Ian Hamilton Finlay archive: parts 1-7 (printed items), 1960-2015. Rare Books (Ex) oversize Item 7308232q

Susan Stewart, “Garden Agon,” Representations No. 62 (Spring, 1998), pp. 111-143. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2902941

ARLIS/NA Statement on Proposals to Eliminate Funding for the NEA, NEH, and IMLS

On Tuesday, February 6, 2017, the Art Libraries Society of North America released this statement:

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) believes that lives are enriched by engagement with the visual arts, design, and cultural heritage. As the leading art information organization, the Society strongly opposes the proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

In January, articles from The Hill reported that then U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his team were considering the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). During the early part of 2017, the President and his staff will draft a budget that is reportedly based largely on the report A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America prepared by the Republican Study Committee and that recommends the following cuts to the federal budget:

“The federal government should not be in the business of funding the arts. Support for the arts can easily and more properly be found from non-governmental sources. Eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts would save taxpayers $148 million per year and eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities would save an additional $148 million per year.” (Pg. 96)
“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provides grants to local museums and libraries, a task that can be better handled by the private sector and local governments. Eliminating the IMLS would save $230 million per year.” (Pg. 97)

Each year, the arts create $135 billion in economic activity, employing over 4 million Americans, and totaling $86 billion in household income. Additionally, funding for arts organizations comprises a tiny fraction of the overall Federal budget (approximately .02 percent). Libraries and museums have a significant impact on the economic, social and cultural environment of communities by promoting life-long learning, creative expression, and access to a wealth of information, programs and services. Numerous institutions where ARLIS/NA members work have been or are currently funded by at least one, if not all three of these federal agencies. Without this funding, the nation’s libraries, museums, and arts and humanities centers cannot provide the critical support needed for research and education.

These proposed budget cuts would cause serious obstructions to creative expression, cultural enrichment, life-long learning, and a threat to the growth of the creative economy. For these reasons, ARLIS/NA opposes the proposed defunding and eradication of the NEA, NEH, and IMLS.

The Writing on the Wall

brody-neuenschwander-copyright-boaz-timmermans-768x513
“How would you like to collaborate with me on a new project?” asks Brody Neuenschwander, Princeton University Class of 1981. “The castle of Hingene, near Antwerp in Belgium, is creating a time capsule in calligraphy.”

He continues, “For a short time, all the wall hangings of the chateau will be taken down for restoration. The director of the castle, Koen De Vlieger, is taking this opportunity to ask the entire world (I’m not kidding) to send in messages that I will commit to eternity by writing them on the walls. So may I ask all of you to go to www.schrijfenblijf.be and send a message to the future? They will ask you to pay a tiny amount for the privilege. But just think, in 25 years the wall hangings will come down for their next cleaning, and you and your descendants can visit Belgium to read the fine words you composed for this wonderful time capsule.”

Neuenschwander attended Princeton University, where he was appointed University Scholar, graduating in 1981 with a paper on the techniques of medieval manuscript illumination. Over the winter of 2016/17, he will write our texts on the walls of the castle of Hingene, not to be unveiled until 2027 and then again in 2042, 2067 and 2117 (or in 25, 50 and 100 years’ time). On each occasion, during the second weekend of March, the public will be free to come and read the dreams, wishes and desires of 2017.

If you remember to bring the original invitation with you, the director promises to receive you like a Prince or a Princess.

http://www.wordslast.be/homepage/

http://www.brodyneuenschwander.com/wall-to-wall/
d-ursel-castle-kasteel

Edition Et

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Edition Et ([Berlin]: Verlag Christian Grützmacher, 1966-1967). Edited by Bernhard Höke (except for no. 4, edited by Rochus Kowallek). Issues 1-2, 13-15 published in 1966; issues 3 and 4 published in 1967. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

edition et1

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete set of this artist-designed and produced serial, edited by the German conceptual artist Bernhard Höke. It is rare to find a complete set of this title, which was issued unbound in cardboard portfolios. Both private and institutional collectors have often separated individual projects by celebrated artists originally found within Edition Et and discarded the less well-known works.

Each volume of this set is complete with the required 50 plates and a few folded posters, photomontages, xeroxes, typographical art, screenprints, concrete and visual poetry.

Editon Et presents an international selection of artists, musicians, and writers active in the 1960s including George Brecht, Gomringer, Ben Vautier, Emmett Williams, Max Bense, Eugen Gomringer, Dick Higgins, Gerhard Rühm, Wolf Vostell, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Dieter Roth, Christo, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhardt Richter, and dozens of others. Volume 15 is the work of a single artist, Dieter Roth, and makes up one part of a complex work he titled “Snow”.
edition et5

The publication follows in a long tradition of fluxus multiples. “The term ‘multiple’ was coined by Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri” writes Maja Wismer, “when he introduced his publishing project Edition MAT (Multiplication d’Art Transformable) in Paris in 1959. Spoerri’s project aimed to undermine the exclusivity of the original work of art by creating replicated objects, still claiming each to be an original. Without providing an exhaustive account of the different strategies of multiplication developed and carried out by various artists in the succeeding years, it is worth noting that the multiple proliferated rapidly throughout the United States and Europe during this time.”

“In 1963, just a few years after Edition MAT introduced the multiple, George Maciunas founded Fluxshop in downtown New York, solidifying the form as a critical tool for questioning the exclusivity of art and challenging the separation between art and life.” –Maja Wismer, One of Many, The Multiples of Joseph Beuys (Walker Art Center, 2015).
edition et2When asked about his use of the multiple, Joseph Beuys commented, “Well, it’s a matter of two intersecting things. Naturally, I search for a suitable quality in an object, which permits multiplication.… But actually, it’s more important to speak of distribution, of reaching a large number of people.… I’m interested in the distribution of physical vehicles in the form of editions because I’m interested in spreading ideas.”