The Gymnopédies (not for toast) are three piano compositions written by Erik Satie, WAY BACK in 1888. These lent et douloureux pieces (translate to “slow and painful”) are some of my favorite piano pieces, and this is the first mention of ‘gymnopedie’ for An Encyclopedia of Everything. They’re gentle if eccentric compositions, and this perfectly describes Marie’s book.
“bubblegum petroleum killerwhale
miniskirt candyfloss methanol
belly button fluff”
Satie was a colourful figure in the Parisian avant-garde and referred to himself as a “phonometrician” (meaning “someone who measures sounds”) rather than a musician. I think Marie is of the same metal, using the faintest thinners prints to transfer some kind of random imagery to her equally unsystematic word links – something like the last ‘verse’ where one reverses back to bed on the morning one does NOT want to be toast on a day when facing the music.
Book 2 in the series of collaborative poetry. (edition of 1 book and 5 chapbooks). This free verse collaboration ran for nearly 5 months I think – I had an email meltdown inbetween. I must thank Wolfgang for his patience – I was the one at fault here, nearly swallowed this year by the tidal wave called ‘life’. Wolfgang began this free verse set and supplied the title. For a full version of this work see http://collaborativecanto.blogspot.com
The first two verses:
the seas rise
& the average
optimizes smiles …
& the sheer infinite
to take part
caught in a breathless
18th C existentialism
the lights went
the switch was caught
said the fixing Man
one foot in the abyss.
“”What is living”?
Description: Unique book, mixed media including printing, painting, drawing, collage, stamping, printing and glue on mixed grounds including mylar, bockingford and card stock papers, 38 pages, 3 hole pamphlet stitch binding.
Karen posted his book in August – about a week into the strike none of us even knew about until it was a month old. That was nearly 4 months ago – I think we despaired it would ever arrive. I was reminded on receiving his book of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus – one of the best examples of Egyptian Mathematics (housed at the British Museum). In the opening paragraphs of the papyrus, Ahmes the scribe presents the document as giving “accurate reckoning for inquiring into things, and the knowledge of all things, mysteries…all secrets”. Karen’s book feels like that.
His Circles (titled everything moves everything whirls) describe the mechanics of anatomy, symbols to indicate activates or deactivates of function control juxtaposed with Mars slides and inter-planetary collision. I was hugely pleased to see on issuu that this work is fully downloadable PLUS the art book I received earlier this year on http://issuu.com/karenalekyan
There is mystery and intrigue, housed in artwork that is hugely satisfying and aesthetically pleasing – “Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables theartist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.” ARSHILE GORKY. Karen’s artists statement, plus more can be read on his blog “is sure that the main issue in the context of Contemporary Arts should not be the philosophy of imperfect past but that of foreseen Future” see: http://karenalekyan.blogspot.com . I cant believe this book finally found its way home – in fact, its given me hope for other work I know is Out There.
Karen – many thanks.
An Encyclopedia of Everything – The Expanded Version – EVENTUALLY! I have found it quite a problem posting images of books on blogs – one takes perhaps 3/4 images of what is quite a complex animal – multifaceted and needing to be read in its entirety. Working collaboratively like this on images opens up a new way to tackle that problem. Marie – again – beautiful – your softest of touches is making the clay books sing X
Its ALWAYS good to work together – evidence follows :-)! This will become part of The Books of Ether series published on Scribd – here’s a sneak pre-view. Marie has a touch that is foreign – and familiar to me – this is the essence of true, successful collaboration – no voice is louder than the other, no one style takes dominance – the work just sings together in poetic harmony. I had made a series of clay books (the plan was big but boredom set in). They languished in a box gathering dust. Then, Marie stepped into the images – and … they are new, fresh – she created work that would NEVER have existed otherwise.
(Book in progress)
Set of chapbooks for TICTAC’s Zine in a Box. I’m hoping they get there – everything is taking FOREVER with the strike – in fact I don’t even know if items reach their destinations, or people think I’ve given up Mail Art. After I had written and collated this I dedicated it to Rod Summers and will include in the aleatory verse book Sing Me a Song for An Encyclopedia of Everything – The Expanded Version. I seem to be reading LOADS of writing by others – it made a nice change to do my own. Words blogged on
Fiddling with the photographs was interesting.
I have finally had a LITTLE breather and have started making books for the collaboration on http://artistbooks.ning.com – 3.0.# 14 (Holes). Its been an eventful year to say the least and I want these books out before the year is done; 1 – because it means I would have done something creative for the first time in what feels like months and secondly, I owe I owe – its off to work I go! Cover and books assembled, but awaiting fillers and finishing. The mixed media painting gave me 12 sets of covers.