Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Stephen Willats | Cha Cha Cha

Stephen Willats
Cha Cha Cha
London, UK: Coracle Press / Lisson Gallery, 1982
[26] pp., 20.5 x 15 cm., thick paper leaves
Edition size unknown

"The entrance to the Cha Cha Club was under an old railway arch, at the end of a narrow alleyway, underneath Charing Cross Station: The Club for people who don’t need to pose.  You can use the night as cover, as a cloak to be who you want, to be yourself, without anyone hassling you…The Cha Cha Club captured the spirit of this new generation’s attitude perhaps more than any other, where everything was possible if your attitude was right.  As a result of meeting members of the Cha Cha Club while making the work: Are You Good Enough For the Cha Cha Cha, I became aware of the extent of the night world that has recently emerged.  I went on to make most of my work over that three years with people who had been to the club at some point."

- Stephen Willats, Means of Escape, Catalogue Rochdale, 1984

Monday, February 19, 2018

Sara MacKillop | Book stand book (marble)

Sara MacKillop
Book stand book (marble)
London, UK: Self-published, 2013
Dimensions variables
Edition of 10 [+ 1 AP]

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Fiona Banner | Your Plinth is My Lap

Fiona Banner
Your Plinth is My Lap
London/Dundee, UK: The Vanity Press, London, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 2002
12" vinyl and cover with etching
Edition size unknown

"For Your Plinth is My Lap, Banner recorded herself reading the account of the film onto a lacquer. At a pumped-up 14" in diameter, this lacquer is somewhat larger than the standard 12" ones used as templates in the production of LPs. It is played on a specially adapted turntable placed on top of a plinth with mirrored sides. You have to place the needle on the record yourself in order to hear it. Unlike the vinyl end product, the lacquer is fragile and is not designed for repeated playing. It will inevitably degrade as the work is listened to over and over again. As with her 23 hour recording of The Nam, Banner reads in an unrehearsed, unspectacular fashion. Banner says that there is no attempt to dramatise the script or to invest it with any particular emotional qualities. She does, nonetheless, have a distinctive style of delivery in which the absence of pacing, of pauses and silences, and of vocal dynamics results in an intense, unremitting flow of words that builds tension in the listener. The straightforward temporal succession of scenes in the film appears at first to be matched by Banner's detached descriptive account of what can be seen on the screen. If she is talking fast and leaving no gaps, then that's only because there's a lot to say before the next edit and the film won't hang around to let her catch up with the plot. Pretty soon, though, the language stream begins to assume a shape of its own. No longer merely a string of flat descriptions, dependent for their legitimacy upon the structure of the image up on the screen, the narrative develops a rhythm, a pulse that originates somewhere between the words themselves and Banner's body as she reads them. And as this rhythm asserts itself the listener finds it increasingly easy to recognise that the descriptive language is far from being anodyne. Certain features of the lighting, particular actors, specific aspects of body, clothing or background detail are repeatedly singled out as the focus of attention. Banner's response to the film starts to take over from her account of it."

- Michael Archer

Friday, February 16, 2018

Nayland Blake | Cuddle Buddy

Nayland Blake
Cuddle Buddy
Fire Island, USA: Fire Island Residency, 2015
55.9 x 57.1 x 10.2 cm.
Edition of 24

This hand-silkscreened cotton, alpaca, wool and polyester doll (with removable dress) was made in collaboration with Costello Tagliapietra, a husband-husband fashion design team known for their lumberjack style of plaid flannel shirts, suspenders, and bushy beards. The Fire Island Residency is the first residency program in the United States exclusively for LGBTQ artists. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Jan Herman | General Municipal Election

Jan Herman
General Municipal Election
San Francisco, USA : Nova Broadcast Press, 1969
7" inch vinyl record
Edition size unknown

Jan Herman (1942) is an editor, publisher, author and journalist, best known for his association with Beat writers (William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg) and Fluxus artists (Dick Higgins, Wolf Vostell) from the time that he published his own Nova Broadcast Press, and was later the editor of the Something Else Press. He also co-wrote Cut Up or Shut Up.

This single-sided seven inch single was released on November 4th, 1969 (Election day), was recorded with the assistance of poet and drummer Clark Coolidge. A collage of various political speeches, noise and static, the work is designed to be played near local polling stations.

The work is accompanied by a mock ballot.