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Production Narrative

by J.Drucker

Offset printed, photo-typeset, probably photographed from a paste-up on boards or sheets, with slides and bagged items added by hand, then stapled.

Critical Analysis

by J.Drucker

Design Features

typographic: The type is set in sans serif in a generic phototype version of Helvetica.

imagery: Photographs taken in one each of six focal settings, plus images of the bottle of wine. The imagery, like the typography and graphics, is very much in the minimalist-conceptual tone of the period.

graphical: The layouts make a play of photographic presence and typographic presence through the opposition of empty frames with text and images empty of text. The photographic borders on the right are supposed to set the contex, since they are photographs of the various corners of the room. The photographs on the pages on the left are from the six varied focal lengths and gradually move from out of focus to in focus, but the imagery is so banal (a rack or shelving unit) it hardly matters.

openings: Asymmetrical symmetry marks the openings that contain the "studies" of six focal lengths.

turnings:

development:

sequence:

textual: The introductory texts describe the act of the artist's recording of his father's accounts of fear in battle in the Korean war (the reocrdings are the cut up snippets of audio tape), and the decision to buy an expensive bottle of wine for the exclusive purpose of photographing it for this project.

structure:

conceptual:

intratextual: A secondary fragmented text consisting of two words sits either inside the photograpic border or just outside the photographic image on each page. These texts play with the theme of identity recognition.

scultpural features:

temporal features:

other features:

Critical Discussion

The general theme of this work is an oblique and highly conceptualized relation to identity. By shifting from the artist's account of recording his father's war experience to a project that seems almost arbitrary (buying an expensive bottle of wine to photograph in a highly contrived photographic sequence), the work creates a non-sequence that cannot be unified except by invoking a higher order frame such as "confusion" or "identity issues" and their perception. The confusions about perception that are introduced by the fragmented language and the two-part narrative are reiterated in the physical book where the slides, audio tape in packets, and bits of film or negative are attached. The book exemplifies the kind of approach of the late 1970s, or early 1980s, that is a late manifestation of conceptualism, by that time very much an art-school variety project or product, in which some kind of instruction and some kind of procedure were used to carry out production. The results were not always interesting.

STILL LIFE with Fruit, Wine, Audiotape and Projections

title note: An obvious comment on the still life tradition, especially as it begins the list with fruit which does not appear, thus stressing the non-sequitor quality of the objects that follow. [J.Drucker]

Agents

Jeff Strayer

type: initiating

role:
artist
author
photographer


Chicago Books

type: initiating

role:
publisher

location: Chicago


Jeff Strayer

type: initiating

role:
artist
author
photographer


Chicago Books

type: initiating

role:
publisher

location: Chicago


Publication Information

edition type: editioned

publisher: A Chicago Book (from Subjects and Objects)

place: Chicago, IL

dates:
publication: 1982-00-00

Measurements

horizontal: 7.8 inches closed

vertical: 4.8 inches closed

depth: 0.25 inches closed

Production Information

production means:
offset (local)

binding: other Stapled

substrate:
bookBlock: paper

media:
other Projection slides.
audio tape (AAT)
ink (local)

Appearance

general description:

format: book object (AAT) pamphlet (AAT)

cover: Paper printed offset with title.

color: no

devices:

enclosures:
item: Small slides meant for projection are paper-clipped to several pages. Additionally, small clear bags are stapled onto several pages filled with various objects, including audiotape.

Content

pagination: unpaginated

numbered?: unnumbered

signed?: signed