Tuesday, July 7, 2015

DANIEL SPOERRI AND AN ANECDOTED TOPOGRAPHY OF CHANCE

photo credit:
http://www.arts.ucsb.edu/faculty/budgett/classes/art22/gl22/img/ds_overview.html

Jon Spayde of St. Paul MN calls our attention to: Writers No-One Reads: Daniel Spoerri.

From wikipedia: "Daniel Spoerri (born 27 March 1930 in Galați) is a Swiss artist and writer born in Romania.[1] Spoerri is best known for his "snare-pictures," a type of assemblage or object art, in which he captures a group of objects, such as the remains of meals eaten by individuals, including the plates, silverware and glasses, all of which are fixed to the table or board, which is then displayed on a wall."

Spoerri is also known for his book An Anecdoted Topography of Chance.

Courtesy of this site from UC Santa Barbara:

"Daniel Spoerri: An Anecdoted Topography of Chance

In 1962 after a conversation with the poet Robert Filliou, Fluxus artist Daniel Spoerri mapped the objects lying at random on the table in his room, adding a rigorously scientific description of each. These objects subsequently evoked associations, memories, anecdotes; not only from the original author, but from his friends as well: a beguiling creation was born. Many of the principal participants of FLUXUS make an appearance (and texts by Higgins, Jouffroy, Kaprow, Restany, and Tinguely are included, among others). It is a novel of digressions in the manner of Tristram Shandy or Robbe-Grillet; it's a game, a poem, an encyclopaedia, a cabinet of wonders: a celebration of friendship and creativity."

The book is somewhat hard to find and generally quite expensive. Jon, however, unearthed a copy from Midway Books and sent it as a gift.

Shell debris, crumbs, a green Swingline stapler. Tangents about road trips, drunken parties, insults that may or may not have been forgiven, and a throughline of eggs.

A sample:

"Entry No. 2:

Pale-green egg cup of very light plastic standing on three tiny legs, bought with three others of different color last Saturday at the Uniprix five-and-ten on Avenue GÉNÉRAL LECLERC. I was in that quarter to cash a check for 706 francs, payable at a bank at No. 5 on that avenue, which ARTURO SCHWARZ (see No. 38, note ++) had sent me. Just opposite the bank is the Uniprix where I went to look for a lot of trinkets to give KICHKA'S sister, who was coming to celebrate her birthday with us in my room that afternoon. I gave her three of the egg cups, and the fourth one stayed in my room, and KICHKA, used it at noon today to eat her eggs (No. 1, 1a). Still in the egg cup is the shell of the egg that I bought this morning, along with three others for 35 centimes apiece, at the dairy store on the Place de la Contrescarpe, whose proprietor, at the end of the day, feeds his perishable leftovers to the neighborhood bums, who heap coarse insults on him when they don't find the leftovers to their liking. Tr. Note 1. Two of these eggs were eaten by BREMER this morning and the other by RENATE (No. 1). (Tr. Note 2)."

A book of marvels and surprises I will treasure.

Thank you, Jon.  

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