by Primary Information

Martin Wong: Footprints, Poems, and Leaves
Martin Wong
Primary Information - 20.00€ -

Self-published in 1968, Footprints, Poems, and Leaves collects dozens of poems written by Martin Wong between 1966 and 1968. Hand-written in a signature calligraphic style that he was just beginning to develop, the poems ebb and flow visually across the page, much like the fluctuating characters, scenes, and moods that inhabit them. This was Wong’s first book of poetry and it contains a double cover showcasing intricate drawings of skeletal angels and other tableaux, as well as a folded, looseleaf broadsheet containing two poems and a drawing of a boney leaf.

The poems were written during a relatively free period for the artist, shortly after he dropped out of Berkeley and began exploring San Francisco at the height of the hippy movement. The poems range from surrealist and pastoral descriptions of the urban subculture that surrounded him to downtrodden, travel-weary biographical entries that are both lonely and tender. Footprints, Poems, and Leaves functions like a journal capturing Wong’s tumultuous life in this period, which included being arrested at a queer, drug-fueled house party (along with Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn) and a stay in a mental institution in late 1967 and early 1968. Around the time of the book’s publication, Wong enrolled in Humboldt State University to finish his degree, beginning a new chapter for the artist.

Despite the dark backdrops of many of the works, the writing displays a playfulness with form and language and a sense of humor that can be seen throughout Wong’s later work as well. Altogether, Footprints, Poems, and Leaves creates a rich tapestry of visual poetry that is both a product of its time and the budding artistic mind of a young Martin Wong.

Martin Wong: Das Puke Book
Martin Wong
Primary Information - 10.00€ -

Das Puke Book is a small chapbook self-published by Martin Wong in 1977. Written in the early 1970s, the publication contains thirteen chapters of handwritten micro-fictions filled with cringeworthy stories unfolding in San Francisco and beyond.

Subtitled Da Otto Biography of Otto Peach Fuzz, the publication is populated with a cadre of colorful characters, some of who are obscure underground figures such as George “Hibiscus” Harris from the Cockettes and Angels of Light and Rodney Price and Debra “Beaver” Bauer from Angels of Light, while others such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and God, are more well known. Although lighthearted, Wong paints unforgettably vivid scenes, such as Van Gogh attacking Gauguin with a razor, Beaver eating so many hot dogs she explodes, and God coming to San Francisco only to find a notebook that makes him so sick to his stomach that he vomits endlessly until the world ends. Written during his days working on the flyers and theatrical backdrops for the Angels of Light Free Theater and published just before his move to New York, these stories capture Wong’s playfulness and the absurdist, kaleidoscopic milieu of the moment in which they were written.

Camino Road
Renée Green
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

First published in 1994, Camino Road is artist Renée Green’s debut novel—a short, ruminative work infused with semantic ambiguity and the dreamy poetry of the quotidian. Republished here in a facsimile edition, the book ostensibly traces its protagonist Lyn’s journeys to Mexico and her return to attend art school in 1980s New York, but what emerges is more an intertextual assemblage of the moments between drives, dreams, and consciousness. Lyn does her Spanish homework and makes note to read Anna Kavan and Cortázar; she watches Fellini; she dreams about the Mediterranean Sea. Much like Green’s multimedia installations encompassing the sonic, spatial, and visual, Camino Road is richly layered—part intellectual genealogy, part fictional personal memory, and part cultural criticism.

Green has described the book as a “self-conscious homage to or parody of the ‘road novel,’ ‘bohemia,’ and artist-rebels.” “I’d been thinking about the beat generation, figures like Jack Kerouac, Burroughs, etc.—the mythic construction of the artist personality as rebel and how females, and myself in particular, entered into that,” she said. “These ‘beat’ sources seemed to form a typical American introduction to the idea of bohemia and of being an artist.”

Originally created as part of Green’s contribution for the group exhibition Cocido y crudo/The Cooked and the Raw at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the text is written in both English and Spanish, and accompanied by an appendix of photographs and ephemera tracing Madrid’s La Movida, a Spanish countercultural moment from the 1980s. The book was published through Green’s production company, Free Agent Media (FAM), which since 1994 has been circulating and exhibiting media, printed matter, and time-based projects.

A unique treatise on the circuits of exchange in gender, politics, and art, Camino Road can also be read as a variation on the classic Bildungsroman genre. “I don’t feel developed in any area,” thinks Lyn at one point. “It’s very difficult being young and incomplete.” Importantly, she also muses, “I want to be swallowed by another language.”

Greer Lankton: Sketchbook, September 1977
Greer Lankton
Primary Information - 20.00€ -  out of stock

A fascinating account of Lankton's inquisitive, sociological and emotional ruminations in advance of her gender-affirming surgery.

This is one of the earliest of Greer Lankton's (1958-96) journals, sketchbooks and daybooks to appear in the artist's archives, and the first to be published in facsimile form. Written during her time as an art student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the journal offers key insights into Lankton's mind at work before her career-defining move to New York in 1978, where she would become an important figure of the East Village art scene in the 1980s and early '90s with her lifelike dolls and theatrical sets.

Containing drawings, behavioral diagrams and aspirational, occasionally confessional writing, the journal is a record of imagining the body and mind reconciled through transformation. In these pages, the 19-year-old turns an inquisitive, sociological eye toward the emotional landscape and somatic effects of the days recorded here; days leading up to her decision to undergo hormone treatment and gender-affirming surgery in 1979. Lankton reflects with raw vulnerability and keen self-awareness on critical questions of self-image, social perception, gender normativity and human behavior.

Fia Backström: COOP: A-Script
Fia Backström
Primary Information - 18.00€ -

COOP documents Swedish artist Fia Backström's (born 1970) performances of two recent scripts, continuing her exploration of language, marketing, disorders and performance. The first script operates according to two distinct logics: a four-part linear base structure and text material that was chosen and read during the performance through chance movement of the performer's body across a grid.

This publication was especially designed to reflect this type of unpredictable and spontaneous movement. Mathematical symbols have been embedded into the text and these symbols link to ones on the upper corner of pages with nonlinear material. These indicate where the text could be inserted during a performance, thus incorporating the form of performance into the book. The second script serves as an epilogue to the first and was performed by four voices, reading from beginning to end without assigned lines, sometimes simultaneously.

Dear Jean Pierre
David Wojnarowicz
Primary Information - 40.00€ -

Dear Jean Pierre collects David Wojnarowicz’s transatlantic correspondence to his Parisian lover Jean Pierre Delage between 1979 and 1982. Capturing a truly foundational moment for Wojnarowicz’s artistic and literary practice, these letters not only reveal his captivating personality—and its concomitant tenderness, compassion, and neuroses—but also index the development of the visual language that would go on to define him as one of the preeminent artists of his generation.

Through this collection, readers are introduced to Wojnarowicz’s Rimbaud series, the band 3 Teens Kill 4, the publication of his first photographs, his early friendship with Peter Hujar, his participation in the then-emerging East Village art and music scenes, and the preparations for the publication of his first book. Included with these writings are postcards, drawings, xeroxes, photographs, collages, flyers, ephemera, and contact sheets that showcase some of the artist’s iconic images and work, such as the Burning House motif and Untitled (Genet, after Brassai).

Beyond these milestones, the book offers a striking portrayal of Wojnarowicz as a twenty-something, detailing his day-to-day life with the type of unbridled earnestness that comes with that age and the softness of love and longing. This disarming tenderness provides a picture of a young man just beginning to find his voice in the world and the love he has found in it.

Although the two exchanged letters in equal measure, Delage’s correspondences have largely been lost, leaving us with only a revelatory glimpse into the internal world of Wojnarowicz during what turned out to be his formative years.

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. Wojnarowicz channeled a vast accumulation of raw images, sounds, memories and lived experiences into a powerful voice that was an undeniable presence in the New York City art scene of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s. Through his several volumes of fiction, poetry, memoirs, painting, photography, installation, sculpture, film and performance, Wojnarowicz left a legacy, affirming art’s vivifying power in a society he viewed as alienating and corrosive. His use of blunt semiotics and graphic illustrations exposed what he felt the mainstream repressed: poverty, abuse of power, blind nationalism, greed, homophobia and the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related complications on July 22, 1992 at the age of 37.

Better Living Catalog
Pippa Garner
Primary Information - 19.00€ -  out of stock

Pippa Garner’s Better Living Catalog, originally published in 1982, takes the form of a mail order catalog featuring clever and whimsical inventions that parody consumer goods while simultaneously critiquing America’s obsession with ingenuity, efficiency, leisure, and comfort. These works, which were made as prototypes and photographed for the publication, take the form of improbable accessories, clothing, footwear, home appliances, and office gadgets.

For example, the “Reactiononometer,” a portable wristband, instantly measures social success, while the “Digital Diet Loafers” display the wearer’s weight with every step. If the “Munch-o-Matic” reduces deskwork interruptions by flinging a snack right into the user’s mouth, other items promise financial solvency (the controlled cash flow “Autowallet”), sustainable waste management, or mess-free companionship (the “Pet-a-Vision” TV console). The artist asserts that all of the products in the book are “absolute necessities for contemporary survival.”

The Better Living Catalog was a pop hit when it was published, earning Garner spots on nighttime TV talk shows and attention from magazines like Vogue and Rolling Stone. In a meme-filled culture, the works still resonate today, finding their analog in widely-circulating consumer products, and—in the case of the “High Heel Skates”—even appearing unattributed in the runway collection of a major luxury fashion brand.

A few years after the Better Living Catalog was published, Garner began her gender transition, which she has characterized as an artistic project that draws conceptual parallels to the altered consumer goods she has continued to create since the 1970s. The artist’s practice has always been about hacking—gender hacking, she stated, was “an excellent premise for maverick conceptual art and diametrically opposed to anything I’d ever done.”

Many of the prototypes Garner created for the publication were repurposed or recycled, making this previously rare gem of an artist book one of the artist’s few works to now be widely available.

Born in 1942 in Evanston, Illinois, Pippa Garner (formerly known as Philip Garner) began her practice in the late sixties as a member of the highly regarded Transportation Design department at ArtCenter, California, with plans to become a car stylist, and was drafted to Vietnam to serve as a combat illustrator. In the mid-80s, Garner began her gender transition, which she considers a conceptual artwork, marking an extension of her practice from twenty years of altering cars, garments, and consumer products to using her own body as raw material. Garner appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and other talk shows, showcasing her satirical consumer product inventions, and her artwork has been featured in Car & Driver, Rolling Stone, Arts & Architecture, and Vogue, among other publications. In the 1980s, her performance, design, and video work was exhibited in institutions including the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; since 2015, she has had exhibitions at STARS, O-Town House, Redling Fine Art, and Parker gallery in Los Angeles; Jeffrey Stark in New York; JOAN, Los Angeles; Kunstverein München; 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine, Metz; Kunsthalle Zurich; and Art Omi, Ghent, New York. She is the author of three other books: Utopia… or Bust! Products for the Perfect World (1984), Garner’s Gizmos & Gadgets (1987), and the zine Beauty 2000 (1992/2021).

Tony Conrad: Writings
Tony Conrad
Primary Information - 24.00€ -

Essential writings from the downtown New York legend and polymath, pioneer of both structural film and drone music.

Tony Conrad (1940-2016) was a legendary multidisciplinary artist known for his groundbreaking contributions in experimental film, music, and video. Upon moving to New York City in 1962, he began making music with John Cale, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela in the Theatre of Eternal Music, a group that helped shape what would come to be known as minimalist music. He later went on to perform with Lou Reed in a pre-Velvet Underground band called The Primitives and cut a classic 1972 record with the German Krautrock band Faust that set a new standard for drone music.

A Rock, a River, a Street
Steffani Jemison
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

An experimental novella about the bounds of the self and the many forms of embodied expression.

Where does your body end and the world begin? How do you locate the limit between your self and others? A Rock, A River, A Street follows a young, Black woman who lives at the hazy border between Brooklyn and Queens in the not so distant present. As she rides the subway, walks around her neighborhood, visits the doctor, watches movies, attends dance class and tries to heal her body, we are brought into her conflicted relationship with language, as she recalls formative experiences from her childhood and absorbs the world around her. Acutely conscious of the soft, responsive nature of her physical self, and pushed and pulled by forces she cannot control, the narrator is vulnerable, terrifyingly open. Everything and everyone leaves an impression. Brooklyn-based artist Steffani Jemison (born 1981) moves deftly across narrative genres and styles in this novella, as she interrogates the boundedness of the self, the possibilities of plurality and the limits of performance.

A Something Else Reader
Dick Higgins
Primary Information - 30.00€ -  out of stock

A previously unpublished anthology of classic texts from Something Else Press, assembled in the 1970s by Dick Higgins, with works by John Cage, Al Hansen, Claes Oldenburg and many more.

Conceived by poet, publisher, artist, composer and writer Dick Higgins (1938-98) in the early 1970s to celebrate Something Else Press--the legendary publishing company he founded in 1963 to showcase Fluxus and other experimental artists--this volume, which was never realized in Higgins' lifetime, collects an amazing array of 1960s avant-garde creativity. Something Else Press published some of the most radical art and literature of its time and provided a foundation and template for the artist's book medium, which has flourished internationally since the 1960s.

The Reader features selections from rare and out-of-print Something Else classics such as Claes Oldenburg's Store Days; John Cage's Notations; Emmett Williams' An Anthology of Concrete Poetry; Richard Kostelanetz's Breakthrough Fictioneersanthology; Jackson Mac Low's pioneering poetry collection, Stanzas for Iris Lezak; Gertrude Stein's Matisse Picasso and Gertrude Stein; Bern Porter's I've Left; Wolf Vostell's Dé-coll/age Happenings; Al Hansen's A Primer of Happenings & Time/Space Art; and other pamphlets and artist projects for the page by Robert Filliou, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Alison Knowles, Nam June Paik, Philip Corner, Daniel Spoerri, André Thomkins and Richard Meltzer, among others. A critical checklist/bibliography assembled by Hugh Fox and Higgins' introduction from 1973 completes the original manuscript.

Black Phoenix: Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture
Rasheed Araeen, Mahmood Jamal (eds.)
Primary Information - 24.00€ -

Facsimile compilation of the late-'70s journal on diasporic and colonial histories that paved the way for the British Black Arts Movement.

Published in three issues between 1978 and 1979, Black Phoenix: Journal of Contemporary Art & Culture in the Third World (the subtitle was changed to Third World Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture for its second and third issues) stands as a key document of its time. More than a decade after '60s liberation movements and the historic Bandung and Tricontinental Conferences that called for social and political alignment and solidarity to dismantle Western imperialism and (neo)colonialism, Black Phoenix issued a rallying call for the formation of a Third World, liberatory arts and culture movement on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's election in 1979.

Based in the UK, and both international and national in scope, Black Phoenix positioned diasporic and colonial histories at the center of an evolving anti-racist and anti-imperialist consciousness in late 1970s Britain—one that would yield complex and nuanced discourses on race, class and postcolonial theory in England in the decade that followed.

A precursor to the British Black Arts Movement that formed in 1982 (which encompassed such cultural practitioners as the Black Audio Film Collective and cultural studies theorist Stuart Hall), Black Phoenix proposed a horizon for Blackness beyond racial binaries, across the Third World and the colonized of the interior in the West.

This single-volume facsimile reprint gathers all three issues of the journal, which include contributions by art critics, scholars, artists, poets and writers, including editors Rasheed Araaen and Mahmood Jamal, Guy Brett, Kenneth Coutts-Smith, Ariel Dorfman, Eduardo Galeano, N. Kilele, Babatunde Lawal, David Medalla, Ayyub Malik, Susil Sirivardana and Chris Wanjala.

Identity Pitches
Cory Arcangel and Stine Janvin
Primary Information - 16.00€ -

A collaborative artist's book of musical scores based on Norwegian knitting patterns.

For Identity Pitches, artists Cory Arcangel (born 1978) and Stine Janvin (born 1985) have composed conceptual music scores based on the knitting patterns for traditional Norwegian sweaters known as Lusekofte. Utilizing three of the most popular designs (Setesdal, Fana and the eight-petal rose of Selbu) of this ubiquitous garment, Janvin creates scores for both solo and ensemble performers by mapping the knitting patterns onto the harmonic and subharmonic series and integrating the tuning principles of traditional Norwegian instruments. These scores are further manipulated by Arcangel using a custom "deep-fried" coding script to create a series of image glitches.
A foreword and an interview between the two artists, both based in Stavanger, Norway, provide context for the work, delving into the history of Norwegian folk music tunings and the Lusekofte sweater and their intersection with the cultural identity of the country over the last millennium.

The All Night Movie
Mary Heilmann
Primary Information - 24.00€ -

Created by Mary Heilmann in 1999, The All Night Movie beautifully wraps a memoir inside of a monograph, creating an artist book in which each page is designed as though it were a painting. The artist delicately utilizes color, text, candid photographs, reproductions of paintings, and song lyrics that unfold seamlessly to create an immersive visual experience. Heilmann has described the book as “the story of my life, told in words, painted images and photographs.”

Across eight chapters, Heilmann recounts her life, from childhood in California through New York in the 1990s, providing intimate insight into the development of her work, friendships, and formative life experiences. Snapshots by the artist and others provide a portrait of Heilmann’s evolving artistic community, which included Gordon Matta-Clark, Pat Hearn, Dicky Landry, Jack Pierson, Keith Sonnier, Pat Steir, William Wegman, and Jackie Winsor, among others. And this is just the first half of the book. Included with the artist’s memoir is an essay by Jutta Koether and a survey of paintings from 1972-1999. This highly revered and extremely scarce publication was co-designed with Mark Magill and is reproduced here as a facsimile edition. The All Night Movie was originally published by Hauser & Wirth and Offizin Verlag.

Mary Heilmann was born in San Francisco in 1940. She studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley before moving to New York in 1968. Heilmann began her career creating sculpture before quickly pivoting into abstract painting once on the East Coast, experimenting with bright colors and unusual geometries that bridge two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements. She has been the recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation Award as well as a Guggenheim Foundation award.

Assembling a Black Counter Culture
DeForrest Brown, Jr.
Primary Information - 20.00€ -  out of stock

DeForrest Brown, Jr.’s Assembling a Black Counter Culture presents a comprehensive account of techno with a focus on the history of Black experiences in industrialized labor systems—repositioning the genre as a unique form of Black musical and cultural production.

Brown traces the genealogy and current developments in techno, locating its origins in the 1980s in the historically emblematic city of Detroit and the broader landscape of Black musical forms. Reaching back from the transatlantic slave trade to Emancipation, the Industrial Revolution, and the Great Migration from the rural South to the industrialized North, Brown details an extended history of techno rooted in the transformation of urban centers and the new forms of industrial capitalism that gave rise to the African American working class. Following the groundbreaking work of key early players like The Belleville Three, the multimedia output of Underground Resistance and the mythscience of Drexciya, Brown illuminates the networks of collaboration, production, and circulation of techno from Detroit to other cities around the world.

Assembling a Black Counter Culture reframes techno from a Black theoretical perspective distinct from its cultural assimilation within predominantly white, European electronic music contexts and discourse. With references to Theodore Roszak’s Making of a Counter Culture, writings by African American autoworker and political activist James Boggs, and the “techno rebels” of Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave, among others, Brown draws parallels between movements in Black electronic music and Afrofuturist, speculative, and Afrodiasporic practices to imagine a world-building sonic fiction and futurity embodied in techno.

DeForrest Brown, Jr. is an Alabama-raised rhythmanalyst, writer, and representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign. As Speaker Music, he channels the African American modernist tradition of rhythm and soul music as an intellectual site and sound of generational trauma. On Juneteenth of 2020, he released the album Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry on Planet Mu. His written work explores the links between the Black experience in industrialized labor systems and Black innovation in electronic music, and has appeared in Artforum, Triple Canopy, NPR, CTM Festival, Mixmag, among many others. He has performed or presented work at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Camden Arts Centre, UK; Unsound Festival, Krakow; Sónar, Barcelona; Issue Project Room, New York; and elsewhere. Assembling a Black Counter Culture is Brown’s debut book.

Editor: Rachel Valinsky
Editorial Consultant: Ting Ding and Camille Crain Drummond
Designer: Scott Ponik
Copy Editor: Madeleine Compagnon

Reader
Constance DeJong
Primary Information - 20.00€ -

Reader is the first anthology to gather Constance DeJong’s diverse body of writing. Spanning from the 1980s to the present, the publication features eighteen works by DeJong, including out-of-print and previously unpublished fiction, as well as texts emanating from her new media sculptures, sound works, video works, and public art commissions.

An influential figure of the 1970s and ’80s downtown New York writing and performance scene, Constance DeJong has channeled time and language as mediums in her work for the last four decades, expanding the possibilities of narrative form and literary genre. From the earliest work collected here—a manuscript of DeJong’s 1982 prose text I.T.I.L.O.E.—to the digital project Nightwriters (2017-18), Reader assembles a range of experimental texts by the artist. The volume includes such works as the 2013 publication and performance, SpeakChamber and the script for Relatives (1988), a duet between a television and a performer made in collaboration with artist Tony Oursler. Never-before-published works including texts created for re-engineered vintage radios, aphorisms commissioned for a Times Square digital billboard, and transcripts for sound works originally installed along the Thames and Hudson rivers are also featured in the book.

Taken together, these works showcase how DeJong has helped define and push the boundaries of language in the visual and performing arts. The artist’s sustained exploration of language blurs the lines between many fields, and DeJong’s work has also had a long life in the literary world. In the late 1970s, she self-published the critically acclaimed novel Modern Love on her short-lived Standard Editions imprint. On the 40th anniversary of the novel’s original publication, the book was published in facsimile form by Primary Information and Ugly Duckling Presse, and has gone on to sell over 10,000 copies since its release in 2017.

Constance DeJong is a New York-based artist who has exhibited and performed internationally. Her work has been presented at the Renaissance Society, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and in New York at the Dia Art Foundation; The Kitchen, Thread Waxing Space, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1983 she composed the libretto for Satyagraha, the Philip Glass opera, which has been staged at opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York; the Netherlands National Opera, Rotterdam; and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. She has permanent audio-text installations in Beacon, New York; London; and Seattle. DeJong has published several books of fiction, including her celebrated Modern Love (Standard Editions, 1977; Primary Information/Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017), I.T.I.L.O.E. (Top Stories, 1983), and SpeakChamber (Bureau, 2013), and her work is included in the anthologies Up is Up, But So is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Science, 1974-1991 (NYU Press, 2006); Blasted Allegories (New Museum/MIT, 1987), and Wild History (Tanam Press, 1985).


Editor: Rachel Valinsky
Designer: Freer Studio
Copy editor: Allison Dubinsky

William Wegman: Writing by Artist
William Wegman
Primary Information - 30.00€ -  out of stock

The long-awaited compendium of Wegman's hilarious, ingenious writings and language-centric art, from the early 1970s to the present.

While he's famous the world over for his instantly recognizable images of Weimaraner dogs, William Wegman has long been one of Conceptual art's true innovators. Filled with previously unknown and wildly entertaining texts, drawings and early photos, Writing by Artist is the first collection to focus on Wegman's longstanding and deeply funny relationship to language.

This career-spanning edition presents a thematically organized selection of rediscovered writings dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, alongside landmark early photographs and hilarious drawings from throughout his career. All of the works brilliantly incorporate words in one form or another, altering logic and pushing the boundaries of what artist writing can be. Writing by Artist serves as a genuine epiphany for those only familiar with his later work, and a welcome reminder of his madcap inventiveness for the already enlightened. What you do or don't know about William Wegman now conveniently fits into this strangely beguiling book.

William Wegman was born in 1943, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He received a BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, in 1965 and an MFA in painting from the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana, in 1967. By the early '70s, Wegman's work was being exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. In addition to solo shows with Sonnabend Gallery in Paris and New York, Situation Gallery in London and Konrad Fisher Gallery in Düsseldorf, his work was included in such seminal exhibitions as When Attitudes Become Form and Documenta V, and was regularly featured in Interfunktionen, Artforum and Avalanche magazines. Wegman has created film and video works for Saturday Night Live and Nickelodeon, and his video segments for Sesame Street have appeared regularly since 1989. In 1995, Wegman's film The Hardly Boys was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Wegman has appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and with Jay Leno, The David Letterman Show and The Colbert Report.

Modern Love
Constance DeJong
Primary Information - 18.00€ -

Constance DeJong’s long-neglected 1977 novel, Modern Love, is one thing made up of many: It is science fiction. It is a detective story. It is a historical episode in the time of the Armada and the dislocation of Sephardic Jews from Spain to an eventual location in New York’s Lower East Side. It is a first-person narrator’s story; Charlotte’s story; and Roderigo’s; and Fifi Corday’s. It is a 150-year-old story about Oregon and the story of a house in Oregon. Modern Love’s continuity is made of flow and motion; like an experience, it accumulates as you read, at that moment, through successive moments, right to the end.

An important figure of downtown New York’s performance art and burgeoning media art scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s, DeJong designed Modern Love herself and published it with help from Dorothea Tanning on the short-lived Standard Editions imprint. Critically acclaimed in its time, Modern Love is now back in print on the 40th anniversary of its original publication.

Constance DeJong is an artist and writer who has worked for thirty years on narrative form within the context of avant-garde music and contemporary art. Considered one of the progenitors of media art, or “time-based media,” DeJong shapes her intricate narrative form through performances, audio installations, print texts, electronic objects, and video works. Since the 1980s, DeJong has collaborated with Phillip Glass, Tony Oursler, and the Builders Association on performances and videos at Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; the Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and in New York, at The Kitchen, Thread Waxing Space, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Dia Center for the Arts. Her books include I.T.I.L.O.E. and SpeakChamber, and her work is included in the anthologies Up is Up, But So is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974–1991 (NYU Press, 2006); Blasted Allegories (New Museum/MIT, 1987); and Wild History (Tanam Press, 1985).

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

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€ -  out of stock

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€ -  out of stock

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.

cart (0)