The Beauties of DECOMPOSITION
paula roush & Michael Hampton
Foil-stamped grey board box 32x23cm contains:
Unique handmade paper specimen 24x19cm.
Three laser printed books:
1.Decomposition: stapled colour 21x15cm, 40 pages, evercolor cream paper 80gsm, varied inserts.
2. Scanned record of paper specimens: #1-12 stapled b&w 27×19.5cm, 24 pages, corona offset paper 120gsm.
3.“thanks for the information and good news”: scanned b&w letters bound by a brass cylinder post: 18.5x17cm, canon paper 80gsm.
Colour photograph on gloss paper: 15×10.5cm.
Special edition of 12 copies accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the authors.
msdm publications 2017
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Concept-specific paper is a refined substrate in the world of the artists’ book. The logic of the work is materially inscribed in the fibres of handmade paper. In the case of THE BEAUTIES OF DECOMPOSITION the paper’s meaning is derived from ‘The Book Dispersed’ project. The special edition contains a paper specimen composed of pulp from the abortive funding application for ‘The Book Dispersed’ an exhibition devised by the collective Media Instaveis/Unstable Media, blended with pulp from Michael Hampton’s magnum opus Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artist’s book (author’s copy), together with extra pulp from Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help (a print on demand copy purchased on eBay). Here, in Chapter VI entitled ‘Workers in Art’, we found words to inspire us: to “force our way upward in the face of poverty and manifold obstructions”. The book, dedicated to the late Auto-Destructive artist and activist Gustav Metzger, is a work about dispersion in the form of a conversation between scattering and collecting/organizing.
Book 1, composed of an essay, cartoon and documentary photographs is a peek at the studio working process, placing it in a continuum along with other self-published books such as Smiles’s.
Book 2, aggregates the scanned records of the handmade paper specimens, verso and recto, viewing them as a series. Since they will be dispersed, each original specimen is included in one book of the edition of 12.
Book 3, contains the scanned letters that Gustav sent to Michael by Royal Mail Post (always first class), mostly trying to arrange meet ups at specific galleries to see exhibitions, and participate in symposia and other art events.