by Primary Information

Modern Love
Constance De Jong
Primary Information - 18.00€ -

A facsimile edition of Modern Love, which was originally published by Standard Editions in 1977. An earlier version of the text appeared in serial form as Books I-V of the Complete Works of Constance De Jong, published by TVRT and Mirror Press from 1975-1976.

"People used to tell me, if you keep on writing maybe you'll make a name for yourself," New York-based artist and writer Constance DeJong (born 1950) wrote in Modern Love. "They were right: My name's Constance DeJong. My name's Fifi Corday. My name's Lady Mirabelle, Monsieur Le Prince, and Roderigo. Roderigo's my favorite name. First I had my father's name, then my husband's, then another's. I don't know. I don't want to know the cause of anything."

Top Stories
Anne Turyn (ed.)
Primary Information - 30.00€ -

Top Stories was a prose periodical published from 1978 to 1991 by the artist Anne Turyn in Buffalo, New York, and New York City. Over the course of twenty-nine issues, it served as a pivotal platform for experimental fiction and art through single-artist issues and two anthologies. The entire run of Top Stories is collected and reproduced here across two volumes.

Top Stories primarily featured female artists, though in Turyn’s words a few men “crept in as collaborators.” Although primarily “a prose periodical” (as its byline often stated), the issues varied in form and aesthetics, pushing the boundaries of what prose could be and, from time to time, escaping the genre altogether. In fact, the only parameters required for participants were that the periodical’s logo and issue list be included on the front and back covers, respectively.

A great deal of the works are short stories by the likes of Pati Hill, Tama Janowitz, and Kathy Acker, whose Pushcart Prize–winning “New York City in 1979” appeared for the first time in book form as part of the series. Constance DeJong contributes “I.T.I.L.O.E.,” a widely unavailable work that features the artist’s trademark prose and is sure to please fans of her novel, Modern Love. The largest issue of the periodical is undoubtedly Cookie Mueller’s “How to Get Rid of Pimples,” which consists of a series of character studies of friends interspersed with photographs by David Armstrong, Nan Goldin, and Peter Hujar altered with freshly drawn blemishes.

Top Stories also celebrates less conventional literary forms. Issues by Lisa Bloomfield, Linda Neaman, and Anne Turyn take the form of artists’ books, juxtaposing image and text to construct tightly wound, interdependent narratives. Jenny Holzer and Peter Nadin present a collaborative work in copper ink comprised of truisms by Holzer on corporeal and emotional states and drawings by Nadin of abstract bodies. Janet Stein contributes a comic, while Ursule Molinaro provides a thorough index of daily life (and the contempt it produces) consisting of entries that were written just prior to lighting a cigarette.

Top Stories remains vitally defiant, an essential witness to what was the downtown literary and art-world underground.

Primary contributors include Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, Sheila Ascher, Douglas Blau, Lisa Bloomfield, Linda L. Cathcart, Cheryl Clarke, Susan Daitch, Constance DeJong, Jane Dickson, Judith Doyle, Lee Eiferman, Robert Fiengo, Joe Gibbons, Pati Hill, Jenny Holzer, Gary Indiana, Tama Janowitz, Suzanne Johnson, Caryl Jones-Sylvester, Mary Kelly, Judy Linn, Micki McGee, Ursule Molinaro, Cookie Mueller, Peter Nadin, Linda Neaman, Glenn O’Brien, Romaine Perin, Richard Prince, Lou Robinson, Janet Stein, Dennis Straus, Sekou Sundiata, Leslie Thornton, Kirsten Thorup, Lynne Tillman, Anne Turyn, Gail Vachon, Brian Wallis, Jane Warrick, and Donna Wyszomierski.

David Armstrong, Nan Goldin, JT Hryvniak, Peter Hujar, Nancy Linn, Trish McAdams, Linda Neaman, Marcia Resnick, Michael Sticht, and Aja Thorup all make appearances as well, contributing artwork for the covers or as illustrations.

Anne Turyn (b. 1954) is a photographer based in New York. Turyn’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Bern, Denver Art Museum, Walker Art Center, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Published by Primary Information, 954 pgs, 21.6 × 14 cm, 2 Paperback books in Slipcase, 2022

Dan Graham: Theatre
Dan Graham
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

A facsimile of Graham's ultra-rare artist's book documenting early performance works.

Originally published in 1978 and produced here in facsimile form, Theatre is an artist's book documenting seven early performance works by Dan Graham (born 1942) taking place from 1969 to 1977, with notes, transcripts and photo documentation for each performance. These performances catch the artist at a unique moment, as he shifts away from his early media works and towards his hallmark video and written work around underground music and youth culture.
The works in Theatre focus primarily on the psychological and social space between individuals and the roles they serve inside the arena of performance, subverting them by creating conditions by which a performer or audience simultaneously functions as both (creating a type of feedback loop through social transgression). Like most of Graham's work, these performances also serve as a critique of cultural norms, with many of the performances utilizing quotidian, social acts that are amplified over time.

The Matrix: Poems 1960-1970
N.H. Pritchard
Primary Information - 20.00€ -  out of stock

Originally published by Doubleday and Company in 1970, N.H. Pritchard's The Matrix was one of a tiny handful of books of concrete poetry published in America by a major publishing house. Sadly, the book was given little support and was not promoted, and it has long been out of print. However, it remains a cherished item for fans of poetry due to its unique composition, and difficult but rewarding poetics. Forcing the reader to straddle the line between reading and viewing, the book features visual poems that predate the experiments of the Language poets, including words that are exploded into their individual letters, and columns of text that ride the edge of the page.

Praised as a "FREE souled" work by Allen Ginsberg, The Matrix feels as fresh and necessary today as when it was first published. This new facsimile edition, copublished by Primary Information and Ugly Duckling Presse, makes the book available to a new generation of readers.

Liturgy
Flora Yin-Wong
Primary Information - 16.00€ -  out of stock

A collage/text exploration of the overlap between healing, fiction, memory and ritual.

London-based Chinese Malaysian multidisciplinary producer and DJ Flora Yin-Wong presents her first book, Liturgy, a journey into the uncanny realm of the senses. Divided into nine chapters, the book delves deep into histories of healing and intuition. Reflecting the multilayered tonality of Yin-Wong's music, which often draws on field recordings and dissonant sounds, it interweaves textual and visual collage, divining inspiration from meditation, oracles, curses, divination, hexagrams and superstitions. Much like her music, which has been described as containing aural snapshots of places and sensations, Yin-Wong's Liturgy comprises a multitude of mediums. Reflected here is not only the multidisciplinary artist's approach to sound, but also her interest in the connection between fiction, memory, rituals and incantation.

Black Art Notes
Tom Lloyd (Ed.)
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

A prescient document of art-industry and museum critique from Black artists and writers.

A collection of essays edited by artist and organizer Tom Lloyd and first published in 1971, Black Art Notes was a critical response to the Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition at the Whitney Museum, but grew into a "concrete affirmation of Black Art philosophy as interpreted by eight Black artists," as Lloyd notes in the introduction.

This facsimile edition features writings by Lloyd, Amiri Baraka, Melvin Dixon, Jeff Donaldson, Ray Elkins, Babatunde Folayemi, and Francis & Val Gray Ward. These artists position the Black Arts Movement outside of white, Western frameworks and articulate the movement as one created by and existing for Black people. Their essays outline the racism of the art world, condemning the attempts of museums and other white cultural institutions to tokenize, whitewash and neutralize Black art, and offer solutions through self-determination and immediate political reform. While the publication was created to respond to a particular moment, the systemic problems that it addresses remain pervasive, making these critiques both timely and urgent.

Yvonne Rainer Work 1961-73
Yvonne Rainer
Primary Information - 40.00€ -

It goes without saying that a dance is a dance and a book about dance is a book. Though they may meet at the intersection of Art and Good Intentions, I find myself greedy. I have a longstanding infatuation with language, a not-easily assailed conviction that it, above all else, offers a key to clarity. Not that it can replace experience, but rather holds a mirror to our experience, gives us distance when we need it. So here I am, in a sense, trying to 'replace' my performances with a book, greedily pushing language to clarify what already was clear in other terms. But, alas, gone. This has seemed one good reason to compile a book out of the remains of my performances, letting the language fall where it may. Let it be said 'She usually makes performances and has also made a book.' -Yvonne Rainer

Forty-five years after its publication, Primary Information brings Yvonne Rainer's classic book back into print in an exact facsimile.

In 1974, Yvonne Rainer published Work 1961-73, an illustrated catalog of her performance works up to that point. In these years, as the art world turned toward minimalism, Rainer and her Judson Dance Theater colleagues were engaged in a parallel, and equally radical, redefinition of dance. Stripping dance of its pomp and self-serious virtuosity, they created what dancer and choreographer Pat Catterson has called "the people's dance." Or, as Rainer put it, instead of the "overblown plot" of traditional dance, she explored the "obvious" alternative: "stand, walk, run, eat, carry bricks, show movies, or move and be moved by some thing other than oneself." 

Work 1961-73 chronicles the years when Rainer found herself and her work at the heart of a revolution in dance, performance and art. Written in Rainer's wonderful frank, funny and perceptive prose, and illustrated with photographs, handwritten scores, sketches, press articles and ephemera, Work 1961-73 is a period document and an instruction manual, an archive and a manifesto. 

A sought-after, rare classic, Work 1961-73 is brought back into print in a true facsimile edition by Primary Information; the only change is the small addition of new notes at the back of the book. 

One of the most influential artists of her generation, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer (born 1934) was a founding member of Judson Dance Theater in New York City and a leading figure in the development of minimalist and postmodern dance.

Cover to Cover
Michael Snow
Primary Information - 30.00€ -  out of stock

A long-awaited facsimile of Michael Snow's legendary artist's book, a classic of conceptualism

For years an out-of-print rarity, Canadian artist, filmmaker and musician Michael Snow's (born 1928) classic 1975 artist's book Cover to Cover is available once again, in this facsimile edition. Unconstrained by discipline, Snow famously remarked that his sculptures were made by a musician, his films by a painter. Flipping through Cover to Cover, which is composed entirely of photographs in narrative sequence, one might describe it as a book made by a filmmaker. Each individual page features a distinct moment, seen from one perspective on the front, and from a diametrically opposed angle on the back, occasionally pivoting between interior and exterior spaces. Midway through the book, the images are inverted such that the volume must be turned upside-down to be looked at right-side up. The result is an elegant, disorienting study in simultaneity. With this work, wrote Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, "Michael Snow has challenged the reader's/viewer's notion of a book, indeed one's very notion of perception."

 

Shame Space
Martine Syms
Primary Information - 20.00€ -

Diaries of an avatar: a Bible-style artist's book of writings by Martine Syms

A new artist's book by California-based artist Martine Syms (born 1988), Shame Space explores the possibilities of narrative and identity, collecting journal writings by the artist from 2015 to 2017 in which she attempts to capture her shadow self, alongside image stills from the video project Ugly Plymouths. The text entries form the voiceover of Mythiccbeing (pronounced "my thick being'), a "black, upwardly mobile, violent, solipsistic, sociopathic, gender-neutral femme" digital avatar who has iterated across several of Syms' recent exhibitions. In Syms' installations, Mythiccbeing manifests variously in video, audio and as an interactive chatbot that responds to the viewer's communications with messages and animations.

In Shame Space, the character's autofictional, diaristic commentary is gathered into 15 chapters. Its design updates the Bible format with its A5 size, embossed leather-textured cover and silver edge painting. The Ugly Plymouths still-image selection was coded using a programming script, such that the design, like the chatbot's SMS responses, is an exercise in machine automation.

Published Dec 2020

A Documentary Herstory of Women Artists in Revolution
Lucy R Lippard, Grace Glueck (Et. al)
Primary Information - 20.00€ -  out of stock

A rare, ever-relevant compendium of texts and manifestos from women artists on gender and race issues in cultural institutions

Originally published in 1971, A Documentary HerStory of Women Artists in Revolution documents the efforts of W.A.R., a loose group of women artists, filmmakers, writers and cultural workers organized around advancing the place of women in the art world. Members of W.A.R. included Juliette Gordon, Sara Saporta, Therese Schwartz, Muriel Castanis, Cindy Nemser, Dolores Holmes, Betsy Jones, Silvia Goldsmith, Jan McDevitt, Lucy Lippard, Grace Glueck, Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, Emily Genauer, Agnes Denes, Doloris O'Kane and Jacqueline Skiles.

Active from 1969 to 1971, W.A.R. was founded as the women's caucus of the Art Workers' Coalition (AWC). AWC mobilized around anti-war protest and anti-racist action, also campaigning for artists' rights and wages, the decentralization of museums across NYC boroughs, more diverse exhibition programming and the restructuring of management within cultural institutions.  

This facsimile publication of A Documentary HerStory of Women Artists in Revolution gathers manifestos, statements and declarations by W.A.R. members; articles and reports about gendered and racialized discrimination in the arts; pro-abortion flyers and protest ephemera; and grant applications and reports detailing the founding of the Women's Interart Center in spring 1970, W.A.R.'s brick-and-mortar studio, workshop and exhibition space. It also reproduces documentation of key actions including the 1970 Art Strike Against Racism, Sexism, Repression and War, and correspondence with officials at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art, among others.  

This publication takes as its source the second edition of the publication, which was published in 1973. The edition was chosen because it features a preface and addendum with retrospective reflections on the history and activities of W.A.R.

Published January 2021

Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979
Alex Balgiu and Mónica de la Torre (eds.)
Primary Information - 30.00€ -

An expansive anthology focused on concrete poetry written by women in the groundbreaking movement’s early history. It features 50 writers and artists from Europe, Japan, Latin America, and the United States selected by editors Alex Balgiu and Mónica de la Torre.

Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979 takes as its point of departure Materializzazione del linguaggio—the groundbreaking exhibition of visual and concrete poetry by women curated by Italian feminist artist Mirella Bentivoglio for the Venice Biennale in 1978. Through this exhibition and others she curated, Bentivoglio traced constellations of women artists working at the intersection of the verbal and visual who sought to “reactivate the atrophied tools of communication” and liberate words from the conventions of genre, gender, and the strictures of the patriarchy and normative syntax.

The works in this volume evolved from previous manifestations of concrete poetry as defined in foundational manifestos by Öyvind Fahlström, Eugen Gomringer, and the Brazilian Noigandres Group. While some works are easily recognized as concrete poetry, as documented in canonical anthologies edited by Mary Ellen Solt and Emmett Williams in the late ’60s, it also features expansive, serial works that are overtly feminist and often trouble legibility. Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-1979 revisits the figures in Bentivoglio’s orbit and includes works by women practicing in other milieus in the United States, Eastern Europe, and South America who were similarly concerned with activating the visual and sonic properties of language and experimenting with poetry’s spatial syntax.

Artists and writers include Lenora de Barros, Ana Bella Geiger, and Mira Schendel from Brazil; Mirella Bentivoglio, Tomaso Binga, Liliana Landi, Anna Oberto, and Giovanna Sandri from Italy; Amanda Berenguer from Uruguay; Suzanne Bernard and Ilse Garnier from France; Blanca Calparsoro from Spain; Paula Claire and Jennifer Pike from the UK; Betty Danon from Turkey; Mirtha Dermisache from Argentina; Bohumila Grögerová from the Czech Republic; Ana Hatherly and Salette Tavares from Portugal; Madeline Gins, Mary Ellen Solt, Susan Howe, Liliane Lijn, and Rosmarie Waldrop from the US; Irma Blank and Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt from Germany; Chima Sunada from Japan; and Katalin Ladik and Bogdanka Poznanović from the former Yugoslavia.

In The Shadow Of Forward Motion
David Wojnarowicz
Primary Information - 19.00€ -  out of stock

David Wojnarowicz's In the Shadow of Forward Motion was originally published as a photocopied zine/artist's book to accompany an exhibition of the same name at PPOW Gallery in 1989. Despite its meager print run of just 50 copies, the publication has garnered a legendary status, and for good reason.

In it we find, for the first time, Wojnarowicz's writing and visual art, two mediums for which he is renowned, playing off each other in equal measure. We glimpse the artist's now iconic mixed-media works, with motifs of ants, locomotives, money, tornados and dinosaurs, juxtaposed with journal-like texts or "notes towards a frame of reference" that examine historical and global mechanisms of power symbolized through the technology of their times.
Wojnarowicz uses the fractured experience of his day-to-day life (including dreams, which he recorded fastidiously) to expose these technologies as weapons of class, cultural and racial oppression. The artist's experience living with HIV is a constant subject of the work, used to shed light on the political and social mechanisms perpetuating discrimination against not only himself, but against women and people of color, who faced additional barriers in their efforts to receive treatment for the illness. Rooted in the maelstrom of art, politics, religion and civil rights of the 1980s, the book provides a startling glimpse into an American culture that we have not yet left behind. Félix Guattari provides an introduction.

Painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter and activist, David Wojnarowicz was born in Redbank, New Jersey, in 1954 and died of AIDS in New York in 1992. The author of five books--most famously Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration--Wojnarowicz attained national prominence as a writer and advocate for AIDS awareness, and for his stance against censorship.

The New Woman's Survival Catalogue
Kirsten Grimstad, Susan Rennie (eds.)
Primary Information - 30.00€ -  out of stock

Originally published in 1973, The New Woman's Survival Catalog is a seminal survey of the second-wave feminist effort across the US. Edited by Kirsten Grimstad and Susan Rennie in just five months, The New Woman's Survival Catalog makes a nod to Stewart Brand's influential Whole Earth Catalog, mapping a vast network of feminist alternative cultural activity in the 1970s.

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