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Project Statement

by J. Drucker

I went to Holland in the summer of 1978, travelling from Greece by way of Switzerland with Jean and Karen Bernier, art dealers I had met in Athens. I had made Amsterdam my destination because I knew of a place called the Drukhuis, an old house on a canal in the center of Amsterdam, where you could pay a per diem and print using the equipment. This book and one other, a large suite of prints and letterpress, were produced there (the etchings for the second project were printed in another state-run facility). The Drukhuis was a three story structure, filled with type and presses, all in a state of quasi-disarray, piles of paper, type drawers, and other materials were everywhere. But I found this wonderful elongated type, Verlangde Mercator, I think it was called. Such a wonderful name! Filled with history and suggestions. The text for this book was produced through the course of the first months I spent in Amsterdam, learning, watching, listening, observing. The specific texture of the language came to my awareness at the same time as the sense of the culture and its peculiar, specific limits of permissiveness. (This, also, is part of the title's "how/so far?") This book, very simply, was about that experience. Direct, observed, succinct and tightly scripted, the lines of the writing seemed aptly served by the narrow, compact type.

Netherland: [How] So Far

Johanna Drucker

title note: The title is an obvious pun, but the "how" was signalling reflection on the time I had spent in Holland to date. [J. Drucker]


Johanna Drucker

type: initiating


born: United States
active: United States
citizenship: United States

birth: 1952-05-30

Publication Information

publisher: self-published

publication: 1978-00-00

publication history: One edition was produced. [J. Drucker]

Aesthetic Profile


artists' books (LCSH)

themes: Holland, permission, social and cultural contrasts. [J. Drucker]

content form:
poetry (AAT)
experimental text (local)

publication tradition:
artists' book (local)

inspiration: The materials of Dutch domesticity were a distinct inspiration for the form and design of this book. That grey toilet paper, the obsessive need for lace curtains at the windows, provided two major material elements. [J.Drucker]

related works: Italy, Cuba, and some of the writings about Paris (unpublished) are quite close to this in sensibility. [J. Drucker]

community: none A time of considerable isolation, though I had a good roommate, wonderful young Dutch woman, I had little sense of an art community or even poetry connections. The US scenes were far away, though I wrote to and for them, with a sense of belief. But no one was there, close, present. [J. Drucker]

Exhibition Information

exhibition history: None that I know of, except in a few solo exhibits of all the works.

reception history: None.

Related Documents

manuscript type: texts

location: other

note: I don't think any manuscript materials remain. Whatever there was would have been left behind in Holland when I left in Spring, 1979.