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Printed Matter
195 Tenth Avenue, 212-925-0325
July 14 - September 29, 2012
Web Site

For our summer exhibition, Printed Matter is hosting an ambitious instore exhibition entitled HELP/LESS, organized by artist Chris Habib. The store-wide show includes over 200 works that explore the fluidity of authorship in artists’ books and multiples. A program of hands-on workshops and other events will take place during the exhibition. Join us for an opening this Bastille Day at Printed Matter, Saturday, July 14th, 5-7 PM. Click here to see the event on facebook.

Including original artworks, book objects, prints and a tremendous selection of artists’ books, HELP/LESS looks to the various modes and methods of appropriation in contemporary art, including: plagiarism, re-authorship, identity subversion, copyism, substration, redaction, curation from the Commons, collective authorship, forgery, theoretical translation, narrative appropriation and reprography. The books gathered in the show represent many of the significant works that have, by choice or not, framed the conversation about fair use, derivation and the nature of contemporary practice. In the spirit of the books, ephemera and multiples it presents, HELP/LESS re-considers the exhibition space as an object to upset. It considers its viewers and featured artists accomplices. More here on the origins of the show from Chris Habib.

An extensive browsing library reproduced for the occasion will make the majority of books available for handling, with many works available for sale. Works available for purchase can be found on a curated list through the Printed Matter website.

HELP/LESS includes many classic and rare books that address ideas of authorship or gain mileage from pre-existing texts. Works of interest include Buzz Spector’s Altered LeWitt, in which the artist had made vertical tears into LeWitt’s untitled 1972 work published by Gian Enzo Sperone, creating a new sculptural book object in the fragments of layered pages. In Burning Small Fires, Bruce Nauman has set fire Ruscha’s Various Small Fires and Milk, creating a new artists’ book from the documentation of the torched pages. Brian Kennon’s Good Boy by Christopher Wool, a collection of altered Wool paintings created from Misfits song titles, is itself taken up by Visitor, who reimagines a storified version of the oversized book using Samhain lyrics. Broodthaers’ Un Coup de Des Jamais N’abolira le Hasard offers a take on Mallarmé’s 1897 poem by the same name, with the artist reproducing the original work, only with all the text redacted.

The exhibition includes books and other works by: 38th Street Publishers, Kathy Acker, Greg Allen, Amanda Andersen, Fiona Banner, Judith Barry, Fred Benenson, Harvey Benge, Bernadette Corporation, Jen Bervin, Mike Bidlo, Scott Blake, Christian Boltanski, William Boyd, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Stephanie Brooks, Patrick Cariou, Sean Joseph Patrick Carney, Mary Ellen Carroll,Maurizio Cattelan, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Paul Chan, Clem Chivas, Anne Collier, Diego Cortez, Peter D’Agostino, Anita Di Bianca, Rutherford Chang, Joshua Deaner, Eric Doeringer, Thomas Dworzak, Laura Edbrook, Sam Falls, Hans Peter-Feldmann, Bettina Funcke, Thomas Galler, General Idea, Crispin Hellion Glover, Kim Gordon, Dan Graham, Wade Guyton, Shuruq Harb, David Hammons, Matthea Harvey, Kismaric Heifer, Hester Barnard, Matthew Higgs, Antonia Hirsch, Misha Hollenbach, Stuart Home, Ciprian Homorodean, Glenn Horowitz, Jonathan Horowitz, David Horvitz, Khaled Hourani, Marc Hundley, Jamison Flint, William E Jones, David Jourdan, Steve Kado, Mike Kelley, Brian Kennon, Martin Kippenberger, Joseph Kosuth, Margia Kramer, Tuli Kupferberg, Hyo Kwon, Tanja Lazetic, Antoine Lefebvre, Sherrie Levine, Hanna Liden, Tan Lin, Michael Lobel, Nate Lowman, Sarah Lüdemann, Katou Malou, Nathaniel Matthews, Adam McEwen Jonathan Monk, Simon Morris, Bruno Munari, Bruce Nauman, Olaf Nicolai, Abner Nolan, Soner Ön, Yoko Ono, Denis Oppenheim, Asher Penn, Stephen Perkins, Tom Phillips, Michalis Pichler, Sigmar Polke, Barbara Pollock, Bern Porter, Seth Price, Manny Prieres, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Lee Ranaldo, Gerhard Richter, Torbjorn Rodland, Ed Ruscha, Jonathan Safran Foer, JD Salinger, Joachim Schmit, Andreas Schmidt, Jonathan Seliger, Cindy Sherman,Brian Singer, Leah Singer, Smile Magazine, Dash Snow, Valerie Solanas, Buzz Spector, Chelsea Spengemann, Klaus Staeck, Dan Starling, Superflex, Triin Tamm, Hank Willis Thomas, Mungo Thomson, Visitor, Kara Walker, Kelley Walker, Lawrence Weiner, Werkplaats Typografie, Dirk Westphal, Jocko Weyland, Ofer Wolberger, Christopher Wool, Yes Men, Paul Zelevansky and others.

For the first two weeks of the exhibition, artist Eric Doeringer has installed 30 of his hand-painted knock-offs in the store window, including miniaturized works by Haring, Hirst, Banksy, Gursky, On Kawara, Pettibon, Prince, McGee, Warhol, and many others.

Two ongoing performative ‘transmissions’ will run the course of the exhibition, a Window Fax Project and a Video Page-Through broadcast. In the first case, Habib and other invited artists will send appropriative works through to Printed Matter via Fax. The continuous printouts will fill the front window, though each work will be altered/distorted into something new through exposure to incandescent light. For the Page-Through, Habib will modify a stack of spreads from rare books, broadcasting the transformations of those photographs as he blacks them out, covers them with stickers/stamps, and alters them with cuts. Transmitted images will be available to view by anyone via Google Plus.

In addition, over the course of the exhibition Printed Matter will host a series of artist-led workshops on-site, inviting the audience to become collaborators and conspirators in the generation, propagation and perpetuation of new projects addressing pre-existing works. The participatory workshops– marathon readings, mock trials, live-typing and book bootlegging– will utilize common threads of re-photography, redaction, physical manipulation of mass-market trade titles, and collective authorship/group appropriation to create new works and interrogate existing projects. Attendance is limited for many of the workshops. If you would like to reserve a spot, please email [email protected] While many of the workshops are free, some require a materials fee.

Workshops and other events will be led by Greg Allen, Hester Barnard, Judith Barry, Eric Doeringer, Chris Habib, Joe Hale, Sophie Hoyle, Brian Kennon, Kenny Goldsmith, Piracy Project (Eva Marie Weinmayr & Andrea Francke), Brian Singer, Marshall Weber, and Ofer Wolberger.


July 18th and Sept 13th, 6PM, Joe Hale, Getting Inside Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head

Following a project by artist Simon Morris Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head in which he retyped ON THE ROAD to the word (starting with the last page and moving backwards so the sequencing is inverted), Hale’s project Getting Inside Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head is a retyping of Morris’ project, putting Kerouac back the right way around. Hale’s typing regimen (one page a daily, slated to finish in March 2013) will be remotely projected in the store. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes.

July 20th, 6:30-8PM, Eric Doeringer and Greg Allen in conversation

We’re hosting a panel discussion to launch two new appropriative books by Eric Doeringer; Squares With Sides And Corners Torn Off (after Sol LeWitt) and 60 Years Later.

Eric Doeringer and Greg Allen (of will join in a conversation around derivative works, guided by the two new publications. Book artist Hermann Zschiegner will moderate. The discussion will touch on Greg and Eric’s mutual interest in the ramifications of Cariou v. Prince, and how it has impacted artists working with appropriated materials. And other things! See the facebook invite here.

July 28th, 5-8PM, Eric Doeringer, Cowboy Photography Workshop

Artist Eric Doeringer will bring vintage Marlboro advertisements from his collection and will assist participants in re-photographing them in the manner of Richard Prince. Visitors will leave with a high resolution digital file and information on how to have it printed at a large size. Participants are welcome to drop in anytime during the workshop. There will be a small materials fee.

July 26th 3PM- July 28th 3PM, Marshall Weber, Marathon Reading

Marshall Weber, Artist and Directing Curator of Booklyn, will do a marathon reading of appropriative texts at Printed Matter for 48 hours straight. Weber recently completed a 74 hour long on-the-street mobile poetry recital, and has given many other marathon recitations of significant works. More on his performance practice.

August 16th, 6-8PM, Hester Barnard, Talk & Workshop

Hester will give a short presentation followed by a workshop titled “Make it new! Exploring the birth of the reader.” The free workshop will (through appropriation and translative re-working) explore the interconnectivity and infinite deferral of the sign, the logically fraudulent “original.” More info to come!

August 17th, 6-8PM, & August 18th, Piracy Project (Eva Marie Weinmayr & Andrea Francke), Discussion and Bookmaking session

The two part workshop from Piracy Project will include a presentation and round-table discussion, followed by a book production session the next day. On August 17th, founders Eva Marie Weinmayr & Andrea Francke will introduce the project and lead a conversation in which books from the HELP/LESS exhibition are considered by debate for induction into the Piracy Project Library. Panelists will negotiate concepts of originality and copying in defense of their selected works.

The following afternoon, Saturday the 18th, Piracy Project will return to Printed Matter to produce the copies of the “winning” books. Anyone interested in the process is invited to join to help make copies and discuss the project.

September 14th, 6-8PM Visitor, Create a Book Workshop

Visitor (artist and show curator Chris Habib) will provide stencils & supplies, inviting attendees to create their own copy of FORE or HELP/LESS.

September 21st, 6-8PM – Ofer Wolberger, Book Launch

Printed Matter will host a launch for the 12th and concluding book in Wolberger’s self publishing project of the last 2.5 years. Covers and Covers, both included in the HELP/LESS exhibition, are two publications from the series that deal with ideas around appropriation and authorship.

September 25th, 6-7 PM – Brian Kennon, Book Launch

On September 25th, 6-7 PM, Brian Kennon (2nd Cannons Publications) will launch several new books of altered facsimiles from his Secession series,

Date TBA – Sophie Hoyle, Workshop

London-based artist Sophie Hoyle will lead a discussion and workshop via Skype on her Gordon Matta Clark project in which she cut apart Phaidon’s catalogue raisonné, creating an sculpture in line with Clark’s building-cut practice.

Date TBA – Someguy, Workshop

San Francisco based artist Someguy will lead a workshop via Skype. His works on paper explore the printed word as a visual representation of information, crossing out the entirety of a written text while exposing only selected words to uncover new meaning. Participants will create facsimiles of a redacted text.

Date TBA – Judith Barry, Workshop

Judith Barry will conduct a hands-on workshop on assembling her polyhedron book For when all that was read was…so as not to be unknown. Participants will be led by Barry and project collaborators in folding her printed ‘Guidebook’ posters into a sculptural object using modular origami. After images from the piece, created for Documenta 13, ran into rights trouble, Barry created a hand-painted facsimile of her original work with each image recreated in watercolor. The price of the workshop is $250.00 and includes the assembled work as well as an additional unfolded poster.

Date TBA, Greg Allen, Mock Trial – Prince v Cariou

This performative discussion, organized by Greg Allen (of, will take the form of two mock trials around the ongoing Cariou v Prince litigation. In the first encounter, an impassioned fair use-oriented defense will engage the ‘court’ on the content of the Prince paintings, parsing biographical content, the artist’s interest in Rasta culture, and offer a critical examination of evidence, precedent and expressed intent.

The second approach will be an absurdist legalistic defense of fair use principles as they’ve come down to us so far, with the attendees given a checklist and asked to rate works painting-by-painting according to similarity. Attendees will be ensuring that each painting has the required three elements of transformative use. Elements from Cariou’s photos that end up in each painting will incur an infringement score.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcat17768 to see them here.