Friday, November 9, 2007

Review of two recent art publications (or thankless jobs)

As a person who has made "catalogs" for each of her last three solo shows, and has more then a hand-full of each of them (except for the latest which I gave away for free) left, I have a soft-spot for anyone who can get a collection of zeroxed writings together. Everyone will take your publication if it is free but hardly anyone will read it. If it costs money, someone may pick it up and browse through it, and maybe even like it, but no one will buy it.

Still, though, the creator of zines (even if they call their zine a mag--as is the case with Megawords) is a hero in my book:

The catalog of Anthony Campuzano's recent show at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, either called Love Everyone (the words which grace the cover-image based on this woodcut by Ben Franklin) or titled like the show as Note on Door.

Authors: Anthony Campunzano, William Pym, and Pablo Colapinto with help from (most likely without permission) reprinted texts from the likes of Vladmir Nabokov to the BBC's Compliance Manual.

Immediately I like that this catalog is standard zine sized, a folded in half sheet of regular copy paper, and most of the text appears to be properly zeroxed, though one wonders if some of the common "mistakes" of zine creators; too much black, off-center copying and etc. were aesthetic decisions or actually accidents.

The text itself proves to both disambigufy (I think I just made that word up) Mr. Campuzano's somewhat ambiguous show while creating a gestalt of mystery all of it's own. The best original essay award goes to Pablo who blew my mind by straight up comparing Anthony's paintings to Shrodinger's cat theory. I enjoyed the longer essay by William Pym, the director of Fleisher/Ollman, which gave further insight into the work of Campuzano but I can't help feeling that Mr. Pym and I have some deep philosophical disagreements.

The rest of the copied text, including that of Mr. Campuzano, weaves a highly intriguing cloud of ideas and dots could be connected in infinite directions. No doubt that each piece of text was included because it struck some personal chord with the editor. All in all very awesome, please make one for every show.

Megawords Magazine

Published by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski.

This edition of Megawords actually contains more words then pictures, which is different. The content is all interviews and though no information is given to this effect I have concluded that the interviews are with all of the people who have helped the Magazine through all its various incarnations. I really liked this issue because I am a sucker for interviews. The only problem I have with interviews is getting interested in the words of people I have never heard of before, but I was very interested in the words of William Pym and former Independant publisher Sam (Matt) Schwartz because I always see them around.

It was great to read these two speak because I've had nothing but the most awkward conversations ever with them in person. I do wish William Pym would leave myspace alone--it's not hurting anyone, and I was overjoyed to hear Mr. Schwartz articulate something about journalism that I've been thinking for awhile:

"Journalism that people get paid to do--nowadays, so far as I can tell--is about access and betrayal. You try to get access to people, institutions and situations that the public is interested in, that either have some celebrity value, or some intrigue value. You get really close to your subject, and you sell them out."

I don't know what to say after that except; THE END.

1 comment:

anthony campuzano said...

thanks annette. just read this today. glad to see that you have a new outpost to write.

the first zine i ever made was a very sarcastic zine about white trash culture with dan murphy (of megawords) and steve gunn (of magik markers/ghq) [second issue included chris smith of espers] it was called meat and potatoes and mocked our collective working class backgrounds and the stupid low culture we felt oppressed by. i would like to point out that we were between 12 and 13 years old when we made it. it was composed primarily of stolen or family photos with cruel comments pasted underneath. to this day none of us have a copy of the first legendary issue, i have (i believe) one copy of the second issue. max milgram (of aka records/violent students/life sucks) told me however that a friend of his in arizona or new mexico bootlegged it in the 90's and that makes me and him laugh alot. will and i set out to make the catalog as a companion to the show and alot of it came about during the summer when he would visit the studio to check on my progress. another touchstone for me was the only other zine i used to make called put these away, which was really just a journal or probably more like a blog. i would gather stuff i had read or written and periodically staple together in order to bookend. start over. the cover came from a note my mother would often place on my messes in my room reading: put these away. you may remember two works from my recent show that also referenced this called note from mother and after note from mother. ok sorry the ramble and yes, pablo is a genius.