mystery and philosophical books qca exhibition 2017

mystery and philosophy

Michael Phillips
Australia


The Democracy of Disease
(2012)
The mystery of disease, the mystery of identity and place and time are combined in Phillips’ book. The pages have been made by two overprints on make-ready sheets in blue.
In the first overprint (purple) pathology slides documenting various diseases of the human urological system have been scanned and used for imagery commenting on the mystery of the democracy of disease. On each slide in a small neat hand is the patient’s name next to images of their failing organs and tissue.
The second overprint was made from negatives found in a tobacco tin at a London flea market. The identity of the people and places in the negatives and the decade they were made are a mystery. Did they document a holiday taken by two brothers and friends? somewhere in the Mediterranean? in the 1930s? (orange/brown) is used in this second overprint.
The overprints merge both mysteries on the pages. They are contained between plain white covers with title in black belying the richness of the images, which entice the viewer to enter into the mystery of the democracy of disease.
Published in edition of 50 on the occasion of the exhibition Lessons in History Vol. II – Democracy held at grahame galleries + editions 2012. Offset and digitally printed. 21.0 x 14.0cm. The artist. Photographer Carl Warner.
Ref:
Grahame, N (ed.) 2012, Lessons in History Vol. II: Democracy, numero uno publications, grahame galleries + editions. pp. 62-3 (illustrated).
Grahame, N (ed.) 2015, Une historie du livre d’artists australien, numero uno publications, grahame galleries + editions. p. 41(illustrated p. 40)
Collection: Centre for the Artist Book, grahame galleries + editions

Noel Sheridan
Ireland 1936 – Australia 2006


Everybody Should Get Stones
(1978)
Everyone Should Get Stones is a tour through many philosophical approaches to reality. Sheridan sets up procedures for selecting beach stones with the advice, ‘Any stony beach will do.’ In Part 1 stones are numbered from 1. A to 26. Z with the notation that a stone may be selected because it is (18. R the softest or 19. S the coldest); from 27. AA to 52. ZZ, because it is most like (47. UU a bicycle or 52. ZZ a baby) and from 53. AAA to 78. ZZZ, because it is most apt (58. FFF as a rosary bead or 77.YYY as a musical instrument). From these selections we are now able to select a stone because it is (79. A + B to 1782. EEE+GGG+GG+S) etc.
Part 2 is more personal. It take place Sydney and, probably due to lack of stony beaches, Sheridan carries out the procedure solely in his head. The first two sets of instructions are unnumbered; they recommend selecting a stone because it is (odd or ludricous) or because it is most like (your self or your worst habit). The third set is numbered 1. to 26. select a stone because it is most apt 1. for giving “a stone’s throw away” directions or 16. for “leaving unturned”.
‘Part III is neither here nor there. Select a stone that answers to that description and you will be ready for Part III.’  In Part 3 we are invited to select a stone because it is most like a work by an artist, ‘an Arp of a Judd’. The selector may add an ascription…early, late etc. We now wander through quotes by philosophers, writers and artists and are asked to select a stone because it is most apt to Deutcher’s statement, for drawing attention to “if” in the statement; “if p then q” or Cezanne’s statement to evoke “the small sensation”. Edition unknown. Unsigned. Experimental Arts Foundation. Photographer Carl Warner.
Ref:
Britton, S (ed.) 1984, A Decade at the E.A.F. – A History of the Experimental Art Foundation 1974-1984, Experimental Art Foundation. p. 78.
Buckley, J, Rogers, M, Rubbo, K & Sheridan, N (eds) 1978, Artists’ Books/Bookworks, Institute of Modern Art, Ewing and George Paton Galleries, Experimental Art Foundation. p. 111.
Campbell, K & Moline, K comp. 1987, IN PRINT. Vol.1. Artists’ Books, The Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, The University of Sydney. no. 18.
Grahame, N (ed.) 2015, Une historie du livre d’artists australien, numero uno publications, grahame galleries + editions. p. 51 (illustrated p. 50)
Tonkin, S 2015, ‘A defining decade: Australian artists’ books in the 1970s’, in D Cowley, R Heather & A Welch (eds), Creating and Collecting: Artists’ Books in Australia, La Trobe Journal No. 95, State Library of Victoria. p. 49.
Collection: Centre for the Artist Book, grahame galleries + editions