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Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Michalis Pichler, 2009
Salad Dressing, Performance Re-enactment Society and Tom Sowden. Published by Arnolfini, 2011
Six Hands And A Cheese Sandwich, Michalis Pichler, 2011
Some of the Buildings on the Sunset Strip, Tom Sowden, 2008
Various Blank Pages and Ink, Doro Boehme and Eric Baskauskas, 2009
 

FOLLOW-ED

 

25 examples of books selected from the Follow-Ed (after Hokusai) touring exhibition curated by Tom Sowden and Michalis Pichler, from direct tributes: Louisa van Leer’s Fifteen Pornography Companies, or Hermann Zschiegner’s Thirtyfour Parking Lots on Google Earth, to more conceptual books: Doro Böhme and Eric Baskauskas’ Various Blank Pages, which presents all the blank pages from Nine Swimming Pools, Colored People, A Few Palm Trees and Various Small Fires.

 

Artists

David Abbott, Anonymous, Frans Baake, Victoria Bianchetti, Doro Böhme & Eric Baskauskas, Stephen Bush, Lin Charlston, Sue Doggett, Eric Doeringer, Stephen Fowler, Simon Goode, Mishka Henner, Jonathan Monk, Jonathan Lewis, Performance Re-enactment Society, Michalis Pichler, Ari Salomon, Joachim Schmid, Tom Sowden, Derek Sullivan, Louisa van Leer, Hermann Zschiegner

 

Venue

Building E, Level 2

 

Exhibition

As an artist making books in the style of Ed Ruscha, I have been collecting books made by others in tribute to Ruscha for quite a while. In December 2010 I joined forces with Berlin-based poet and conceptual artist Michalis Pichler. After exchanging our own Ruscha-esque books with each other, we decided to co-curate collaborative shows under Follow-Ed (after Hokusai). The first one launched at The Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art in January 2011, followed by Cover-ed, a collaboration between us, The Performance Re-enactment Society (PRS), and Arnolfini Archive, at Arnolfini, Bristol, March – April 2011. This also saw a new bookwork Salad Dressing evolve from the series of interventions into and around Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams' bookwork Crackers. Michalis Pichler exhibited his collection of books simultaneously at P74 Gallery, Ljubljana and launched his new book SIX HANDS AND A CHEESE SANDWICH (featuring an excessive after-Ruscha bibliography).

25 examples of books have been selected from the evolving Follow-ed touring exhibition (of the 60+ books collected to date), from direct tributes: Louisa van Leer’s Fifteen Pornography Companies, or Hermann Zschiegner’s Thirtyfour Parking Lots on Google Earth, to more conceptual books: Doro Böhme and Eric Baskauskas’ Various Blank Pages, which presents all the blank pages from Nine Swimming Pools, Colored People, A Few Palm Trees and Various Small Fires.
Although the books collected so far vary enormously in size, subject matter and style, they all have an intrinsic ‘Ed’ theme, however tenuous the connection may be. The prevailing quality that I feel they all have is the element of humour reminiscent of Ruscha. Where each artist has taken one of Ruscha’s books and reinvented it with a knowing twist; referencing with wit, the time and environment that they find themselves in, just as Ruscha did in the 60s and 70s.

Tom Sowden is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Recent research projects include the AHRC funded Paper Models, investigating laser-cutting technology for artistsí books. He is Art Editor for the Artistís Book Yearbook and The Blue Notebook. From 2006-2009, Tom co-curated the exhibition Sitting Room with Lucy May Schofield, of 130 artistsí books in a recreated sitting room touring gallery spaces, allowing books to be handled and read in comfort. Tom works across a number of disciplines: artistsí books, video, photography and printmaking, with a knowing but light-hearted approach that references and mimics the aspirational work of American conceptual artists from the 1960s and 1970s. Instead of sharing their utopian ideals, his approach is more to do with commonplace concerns - commuting, walking in the park and supermarket shopping - whilst still alluding to systems and processes that artists such as Ed Ruscha and Lawrence Weiner employed. His work is playful, yet undercut with suggestions of futility and failure. His books produced in tribute to Ruscha include: Some of the Buildings on the Sunset Strip; Record; Winter Gardens; Fiftytwo Shopping Trolleys in Parking Lots, and Homeless People (www.tomsowden.com).

 

   

Email

Tom.Sowden@uwe.ac.uk

Website

www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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