Alexandre Gérard - Nocturnal, book+CD, Semiose Editions, France, 2013
During 4 months in 2001, French contemporary artist Alexandre Gérard put a microphone above his bed to record his talk during sleep. He was especially interested to document some unidentified language he used during dreams, so he was told. Nocturnal first materialized as an installation in an art gallery in 2004, with the collated sound files and verbal/pre-verbal transcriptions on paper. This book gathers these transcriptions plus foreign language translations and a CD of the recordings. The latter, however, attest of no speaking-in-tongues, invented or foreign language, yet the recordings testify to an intense nocturnal verbal activity, with a remarkable hypnagogic effect on the listener.
In September–October 2013, Giorgio Maffei curated the Records by Artistsexhibition at Biblioteca Universitaria, Bologna, a selection of 130 artists records chosen among Maffei’s personal collection [more info on Digicult.it]. The pages above are excerpted from the accompanying catalogue. Though it may superficially cover the same ground as the venerable Broken Music book, Records by Artists is organized more neatly, with a better layout allowing the description of one item per page. Of course, as a dealer of multiples, Maffei is used to provide nice pictures of the items he sells, and the book is hence a joy to peruse. In his selecton, Maffei also introduces more Italian references and several series like Aspen magazine, Giorno Poetry Systems, Radio Taxi or 3Vitre get a chapter on their own.
Italian collector, rare books dealer and curator Giorgio Maffei is a specialist of artist books and multiples as well as a “list-maniac”: he creates more lists than you’d care to peruse and his website is a treasure trove of rare books and artists records organized by list. Above are two pages from the Materiali per l’arte 2 catalogue, 2012, an exquisitely illustrated list of artist records.
Top: a mix of Audio Arts, Baobab and Laurence Weiner/Ned Sublette cassettes. Bottom: a collection of photos from Fluxus music performances including (56) George Maciunas, (57) Meredith Monk, (58) George Brecht, (59) Philip Corner, (60) Geoffrey Hendrichs, Al Hansen & Ben Vautier, etc.
The small b&w booklet attached to the book itself (see first 3 pictures) collects photos made by Ferrari during a trip to the US in 1954, which became the inspiration for the electronic piece Tête et Queue du Dragon, 1960. In the next-to-last picture, Luc Ferrari is represented on a background of Renaissance technical drawings, as a kind of Leonardo da Vinci of music, which is quite fitting, I think (artwork by Alexandre Yterce, presumably).