UMBRELLA OCT 96
THE LITTLE BOOKS
Most of the books in this section are available from Printed Matter, 77 Wooster St., New York, NY 10012 unless otherwise indicated.
Pleasant Valley: My Early Life in the West by Michael Peed (Bozeman, MT, Okie Dokie Books, 1994) is a hand written book with some color pictures, paintings and sculpture and true stories, just as the cover indicates. The one-page stories are illustrated with illustrations, reproductions of paintings made by the artist with sign painter's enamel in one shot; the figures illustrating stories are made of sugar pine and the color is made by color pencils. There is something so genuinely honest about the stories and the art here, that I would surmise that $2.50 would be a wonderful way to send an artist's book to a friend and keep several on hand to send into the world.
Buzzwords by David Stairs (Seattle, 1996, $6.00) has a cover made of screening, enveloping a series of questions (the usual asked during job interviews or college applications) interspersed with images of heads, mouths or slits in the screen, where a fly has traversed most of the pages. Of course, the denouement must be left unsaid--but you must buy the book to find out what is the final "buzzword".
Fetish (Vancouver, Central Visual Artists Association, 1995, $100) is a labor of love, a "little book" by a group of artists who each contributed a chapter, and all the illustrations are perforated artistamps, which lend themselves so well to the format of the book. Covered in false leopard fur, the "fetish" definition has been expanded by these 9 artists. Polly Bak's Socks, Anna Banana's Bananology, Jim Felter's Lost Continents, Jeanie Kamins' Mom and Apple Pie, Shirley Lum's hilarious Shoes, Henri Roubideau's Canadian Inventions, Peter Small's Word/Image, Bill Thomson's Neo Ironists, and Ed Varney's Erotic Landscape lend themselves to precious and private meditations on "fetishes". Deliciously produced by all nine artists in an edition of 100, this collector's item is available for $100.00 from CVAA, P.O. Box 3294, Vancouver, Canada V6B 3X9. A jewel!
Method Crying by Terry Cuddy (Ithaca, NY, Bark Productions, 1996, $12.00 plus $2.00 shipping. ed/. of 500) is the story of a fledgling actor who bombs onstage, then spends the book looking for a way to redeem himself. Not straight narrative at all, but a collage of images and words which takes many readings to get the "gist" of it all. Each of the pages is a series of photographs, labels, diagrams, and settings for the action Non-linear, this book reflects a videotape that the artist created but found that creating this book would allow the viewer to respect the story deeper. Using computer technology, Cuddy transferred images from the video production onto the page, superimposing over those words and graphics. I sometimes feel I am looking at those Chinese word cards which came to this country soon after Nixon went to China. Visually exciting, verbally inexplicit, the reader/viewer completes the action. A signed and numbered edition from a video artist, printmaker and writer. Send for the book from Bark Productions, P.O. Box 6571, Ithaca, NY 14851.
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