CiRC! (Series 2): Jürgen Olbrich (Germany)/Cheryl Penn – CirC! Collaboration 10
I have not known Jürgen for long, but having received some catalogues from the 90’s (amongst other fascinations!) – like (SAVE/GIVE Life is Art enough) (Kasseler Kunstverein/ Jürgen Olbrich) and documentation of other hugely interesting projects, I was delighted that he agreed to collaborate with me. I say series 2 as the format has changed to accordion after spending some time inhaling thinners in the printing studio! Jürgen is involved in many long-term projects – like Collective Copy, which has been running since 1977, and the Paper Police project in which he controls public paper containers all over Germany, now for over 20 years. He has “tons of material” and supports 15 museums and collections world wide with things he finds in the containers, including “the Jewish Museum in Berlin with Nazi material…
One of the first things I found 2o years ago in a container was an English children’s book. This and 3-4 other items actually sparked off the idea of the “Paper police”. It is this book, found 20 years ago Jürgen has used to complete the collaboration.
Overheard Overhead (Book/Chapbook – further edition of 6 chapbooks)
This is my 4th book of aleatory (related to chance) poetry – or I guess its better-termed free verse. Lines of words stand in a queue waiting for their turn to appear on a page. Sometimes the queue is so long I forget until I can get to pen and paper; then there they are again, needing to be part of no sequential, edited text, just written down and appearing together. I posted this work on the collaborative writing blog as again, it’s a collaboration between myself and chance. http://collaborativecanto.blogspot.com
don’t waste your time
don’t mistake her
for someone who cares
the static got to her dawn.
can no longer shine.
Preparing the campus for the public has involved teaching students the interesting results of facial distortion – how to keep a character essence while twisting features – an interesting experiment. Photographs were taken with a phone and a simple free image distorter. The results were painted onto the wall – by first year students. Bongani has just been to China on a trip he won from the Confucius Centre for a startlingly realistic portrait of Confucious – and his wall work reflects his travels. Dane is from the Graphic design department – AMAZING work, and me – well, I’m just me!
A Curious Dream – Unique Book accordion bound. 320cm long by 21cm high.
I began this book in 2011 while in a flurry of idea implosion and excessive book activity. Quite a few books were begun during this time, but with no deadlines in sight, they lay, waiting completion. An Encyclopedia of Everything and Other Matters was the perfect excuse to go through these to see if any were worth finishing. This certainly was. The curious dream begins with “This place gave her the creeps. Everyone looked like half something. Like De Moreau had had a go. And there were Twelve Monkeys suffering from vertigo. The horn man said: What are you staring at”?
I’m certain everyone has those tasks, perceived as gargantuan that get left and left until The Day when they must be tackled. And, they ARE as huge as you thought they would be, but what a relief once they’re done. Plagiarism was such an undertaking. But now it is done – and its beautiful. Back in 2011 I took a paper I had written, plus assorted documents I had NOT written, pulped them, and remade the paper. These pages are then embedded text and images remade.
I asked artists (some members of IUOMA) if they would like to receive two sets of pages, air their views on plagiarism and return them to me. And most of them did. The recycled paper, is brittle (commercial paper has very short fibers and once remade becomes even more fragile) and thick. I knew binding would be a massive task as the artists had all treated the pages differently, some even removing the gutter section! On Monday I hauled it out of its tomb and for the first time in 3 years the folios saw the light of day. I deemed yesterday TO BE THE DAY! Eventually I opted for Coptic binding which was difficult with the fragility of the paper so I firstly reinforced each signature with Japanese paper. It took a LONG time with much muttering – BUT it is done. And it’s a striking, unique book. Many thanks to the following artists who returned their pages. I WILL be sending some sort of documentation as I promised.
List of Participants
“E” – France
Rob Grant – Australia
Rosa Gravino – Argentina
Judith Heartsong – USA
Lisa Iverson – USA
Diane Keys – USA
Susanna Lakner – Germany
Lesley Magwood Fraser – South Africa
Katerina Nitoltsou – Greece
Bifidus Jones – USA
Cheryl Penn – South Africa
Svetlana Pesetskaya – Russia
Nancy Bell Scott – USA
Judy Skolnik – USA
Jen Staggs – USA
Guido Vermeulen – Belgium
Nadine Wendell Mojica – USA
Marie Wintzer – Japan
Book 3 – An Anthology of International Doodles – the American Version.
This book was bound prior to a HEAVY work schedule (more than usual!), a digital festival, a trip to Turkey, an ENORMOUS catalogue for An Encyclopedia of Everything and Other Matters and the exhibition set up – i.e. I don’t know if I will have time to make any more books (sadly). The response from American artists was very generous – even C T Chew who does NOT doodle, doodled for this collaboration.
David S Aponte, Stan Askew, C Mehrl Bennett, John M Bennett, C T Chew, Bifidus Jones, MusicMaster, RCBz, Mark Sonnenfeld, Alicia Starr, Mathew Stolte, David Stone, Nadine Wendell Mojica and Reed Wood.
Post Script: The pre-made cover was full after Matthew – the others are a Carry Over. Ever been one of those?
Mehrl C Bennett by Cheryl Penn
The Name of Mehrl C Bennett’s blog is OVER THE SOFA/UNDER THE SKIN/INSIDE THE HEAD and I get the feeling, that in all those places, she is full functioning, all the time every minute she breathes.
I set out the book using certain words which CMB uses in a poem titled My Momento – for example:
See u-tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNvu_iqCFPc
“Vocabulary lists (numbers refer to first page of stories) from the back section of an old children’s school book were scanned, edited, and sometimes rearranged into small lists which make up “Little Stories”, all set into a visual and audio framework” . All media aspects were designed by artist/poet/musician C. Mehrl Bennett in May of 2014″.
Through her blog, http://cmehrlbennett.wordpress.com we are constantly invited to look into the recesses and bright joys of CMB’s world. For example – entry dated June 1st 2014 – “Our Memorial Day weekend involved dinner served up on this year’s new back yard patio with special guest, Edward Lense, who has written collaborative cinquains with us before so was not surprised when I brought out my little notebook after we ate.
And there’s the matter of Asemic Shadows – a beautifully made small accordion book. Collaboration works on many levels – it’s a self sustaining sport of the greatest pleasure – while making this book, Little Stories another version pushed itself through. In conclusion – to quote :