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Tempest in a Teapot Peter Shire

Published by Rizzoli, New York, 1991, 144 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 20 × 25.5 cm, English

Price: €38

Peter Shire is an LA-based artist whose subversive humor and playfulness extend throughout his work and made him a natural fit for the controversial and iconic Milan-based Memphis design group, of which he was a founding member.

The ceramic teapots made by Shire straddle the line distinguishing functional objects and pure sculpture. His brightly coloured, imaginatively shaped, and often witty designs are created under the influence of pop culture, the transformations of the landscape of late-twentieth-century Los Angeles, and by the work of important twentieth-century artists and designers

With texts by Peter Shire, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp and Norman M. Klein

#1991 #ceramics #normanmklein #petershire #westcoastceramics
Exercises in Practical Mischievery #3 What Ever Happened To Fritz Rainer? Laura Pappa

Published by Speculative Press, Amsterdam, 2014, 16 pages w. insert (b/w ill.), 14.5 × 42 cm, English

Price: €4

Fritz Rainer (1925, Basel) became a spiritual leader in his mid-twenties guiding people through the trials of life. In 1951 he began preaching on the streets and soon enough his teachings started to attract bigger and bigger crowds. The movement rapidly developed into a cult-like entity with a large group of supporters and followers. Analysts have speculated that the real driving force behind Rainer’s popularity was his unusual not to say bizarre method of deliverance. The method, now taken on by The Rainer Plate creators, incorporated the employment of the material qualities of a CTP printing plate to give speeches all over the country. This included bizarre movements with the plate, a variety of ear-splitting sounds the plate produced, the reflection of it, not to mention the presence of an odd-sized metal sheet that in itself raised a mass furor, which eventually influenced the minds of the crowds, converting them into full-scale Rainerists.

The publication walks us through Fritz’ life and uncovers some details from his past.

#2014 #laurapappa
Exercises in Practical Mischievery #2. I vote for Yetta Bronstein Laura Pappa

Published by Speculative Press, Amsterdam, 2014, 16 pages w. insert (b/w ill.), 14.5 × 42 cm, English

Price: €4

Yetta Bronstein, as a 48-year-old house-wife from the Bronx, ran for President in 1964 and again in 1968 as the candidate for the Best Party. Her slogans were “Vote for Yetta and things will get betta” and “Put a mother in the White House.”

The publication houses an interview with Alan Abel (1930), the man behind all these characters including creator of Yetta. Alan was an American prankster, writer and filmmaker who frequently appeared on television, radio and newspapers with his scandalous and provoking undertakings. During the interview the discussion seamlessly flows from one prank to another, from one juicy detail to the next. Along the way his relationship to theatre and the media are discussed, as well as his approach to work.

#2014 #laurapappa
Exercises in Practical Mischievery #1 Yours Truly, Edna Welthorpe Laura Pappa

Published by Speculative Press, Amsterdam, 2014, 16 pages w. insert (b/w ill.), 14.5 × 42 cm, English

Price: €4

The lovely woman going by the name of Edna Welthorpe is known today for her stabbing theatre criticism vocalised through the pages of local newspapers but also in her personal correspondence with playhouses and playwrights from the 1940s to the 1960s in London. Mrs Welthorpe took on the role of the guardian of public morals, protesting against, in her own words, ‘outrageous contemporary creations and the production of indecent thought’ that she believed should be banned from ‘the sight of not only our children but also the common public.’

Edna Welthorpe is one of the pseudonyms of the notorious British playwright Joe Orton (1933–1967), whom Orton used as an outraged critic of his work after he had achieved fame; she was joined later by the imaginary Donald H. Hartley, an Orton booster. Right up to his death, Orton wrote letters under different pseudonyms, which he used to create mischief and argument.

The publication reproduces some of Edna’s correspondence that was first published in the book Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton by John Lahr (1978).

#2014 #laurapappa
From Action To Matchmaking Photons To Zen Buddhists Bad Breath Voebe de Gruyter

Published by Roma Publications, Amsterdam, 2012, 216 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 24 × 34 cm, English

Price: €29

Voebe de Gruyter is an artist who makes propositions about unexpected scientific phenomena and other patterns which reveal themselves in everyday situations. Her work abounds with elementary particles: “points of concentration, information particles, small units which contain multitudes,” the artist once explained. For this publication De Gruyter went through her complete inventory and studio archives. With texts by Maria Barnas and Roel Arkesteijn, plus explanatory notes by the artist herself for almost all the works. Designed by Felix Weigand.

A preview of the publication can be found here.

#2012 #mariabarnas #romapublications #voebedegruyter
Now Leaves Michael Dean

Published by Bookworks, London, 2015, 648 pages (b/w ill.), 12 × 16.8 cm, English

Price: €12

Dean’s work is often concerned with the play of legibility through the creation of private lexicons. The relation between spoken word performance and its graphic representation, often in the form of private, personal and self-made typefaces, is one key to his work. The otherwise mute objects are inscribed, via clues, or fragments of lettering, with a personalised form of writing, which gives the opportunity of animating the artwork. Here the book operates as a form of sculpture, inscribed with both a personal and bodily form, to be read, spoken or carefully deciphered. Designed by Michael Dean, with Fraser Muggeridge.

NOW LEAVES describes leaving and having left. Glossolalia like, against noise, about the bones of a writing, written in tongue graphics legible by reason of the trees with as many words as there are leaves. The percussion of these leaves is f***ing news. The percussion of these leaves is not his news. The percussion of these leaves is not her news. The percussion of these leaves is definitely not their news.’ – Michael Dean

*Please note this publication is secondhand and has some traces of previous ownership:

##2015 #bookworks #frasermuggeridge #michaeldean