POCKETFUL OF POESY
DELUXE OBJECT; "EDITION" OF 10 VARIATIONS; 6" x 8" x 1." Signed.
eMediaLoft.org 2003. AUCTION RESERVE: $ 1200.
This piece is in the collections of MoMA and The Whitney.
Denim, cotton thread, steel grippers, acrylic paint, rubber stamp ink, card stock, paper, xeroxes.
A hand-sewn, blue denim pouch, titled with hand-stenciled, bright yellow letters, each "pocket" is filled with small colored cards bearing the artist's poetic lines, insights, enigmatic phrases and photographs, as well as a few of her short stories, poems, journal entries and personally designed and xeroxed post-cards, some of which are from her exhibitions, performances and screenings since 1976. Her name is stamped on the pouch with the red rubber stamp familiar to gallery-goers in NY, periodically appearing on street posters around the city, and as her signature in visitors' books. Purchaser can add more material to pocket as desired.
Pocketful Of Poesy is an outgrowth of my habit of saving scraps. The idea itself is a pun on "posey/poesy," from the singing game about the bubonic plague in 14 th century England, when children filled their pockets with flowers to mitigate the stench of rotting corpses in the street. The denim comes from actual clothing I wore out. The grippers and thread come from the sewing box I took from my mother's drawer after she died in 1983; my grandfather was a tailor, and some of the items are his. Some of the cards were left over from post-card editions I no longer send out, and some were announcements left over after presentations. The writings were reformatted in various ways for publication in magazines or in my books Clues to Myself, Sensations, Homo Futurus, and Soul & Psyche (all Visual Studies Workshop Press).
I've made other pieces from what is essentially garbage: Old Address Book , for example, was editioned from a defunct address book I was about to throw out, but couldn't part with, and Scrap Paper Sculptures and Bookmarks were both made from paper-cutter scraps. My winter blankets and some of my clothing are made from cloth scraps, but this is the first non-utilitarian scrap art I've made from cloth, and my first cloth book.
I had a cloth book when I was a child, containing activities like shoe-lacing, ribbon-tying and grippering, and I managed to find a similar one for my children when they were young. Both those books likely had something to do with creating this piece, but both had sewn bindings, and were more "booklike" than Pocketful Of Poesy. However, although I list this small edition with my objects because its unique presence calls attention to itself without a viewer's even knowing there are contents, I consider any contained collection of separate pages, bound or unbound, except what is obviously a manuscript meant to be presented differently at a later date, a book, or at least a book-work, and if it is created by an artist, then, an artist's book.