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
PLAY The Play

Published by Bat Editions, Paris, 2014, 796 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 25.6 × 36.3 cm, English / French / Japanese

Price: €50

The reprint of two out-of-print artist’s books self-published in the 80’s by the Japanese artists collective The Play, with a previously unreleased documentation.

Staging most of their actions, “without particular reason,” in “natural outdoor spaces,” and admitting they “only like[d] the infinite time and space of open air,” The Play is a fluctuating art collective gathering individuals with various personalities and skills, formed in 1967 in the Japanese Kansai region. Still active today the group has constantly devised its own methods for collective actions and the ways for transmitting them, its members coming together to create the possibility of an event without any concern for its result. Its persistence and longevity have set The Play apart from other groups in Japanese art history, never completely integrated, yet never completely at the margins. Refusing to distinguish art from life, The Play underlines an attitude and an outlook focused on playing, sincerity and humour, notions that remain crucial today.

#2014 #japaneseavant-garde #theplay

Published by Revolver Publishing, Berlin, 2014, 212 pages (b/w ill.), 14.8 × 21 cm, English / German / Swedish

Price: €18 (Temporarily out of stock)

Paul Thek in Process. Commentaries on/of an Exhibition includes all research material which was made public in different formats in the exhibition series Paul Thek in Process. The exhibition was born out of the desire to memorialise Paul Thek’s spatial work that the artist realised in Europe in the 1970s and to make it possible to experience it in a larger historic context. Thanks to the historic distance, the latter is possible today. As exhibition, documentation and inscenation at the same time, the project not only traced the tracks of a lost artistic practice, but also questioned the importance of ephemeral material in exhibition contexts, the boundaries of the artwork, the exhibition and institution history, the reception and today’s practice of re-inscenation. The publication is conceived as a work list, a biography and a history of objects, an image documentation of the exhibitions and, last but not least, as a self-critical curatorial review on this past project.

#2014 #paulthek #revolverpublishing
Vogliamo Tutto Nanni Balestrini

Published by Telephone Publishing, Melbourne, 2014, 198 pages, 13.8 × 20.5 cm, English

Price: €16 (Out of stock)

“Vogliamo tutto: We want everything – all the wealth, all the power, and no work.”

Torino, 1969. Fiat’s giant Mirafiori plant is a magnet for thousands of young southern workers, who go north to escape oppression, poverty and underdevelopment and find only exploitation and abuse on the assembly lines.

Nanni Balestrini draws on interviews, flyers and the movement’s bulletins to document workers’ experiences on the factory floor, in the meetings and demonstrations and, finally, at the barricades, creating a poetic remix of a novel, a searching documentary and a call to arms for a just society.

Translated from the Italian by Matt Holden. Designed by Warren Taylor.

#2014 #nannibalestrini #warrentaylor