Item #30335 Illegal America. Jeannette Ingberman, Papo Colo.
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America
Illegal America

Illegal America

New York: Exit Art, 1982. 4to, [108] pp, cardbox box fastened with a pasted-down dollar bill, containing 27 sheets, each folded into a four pp. brochure. Illustrated in b/w. Though unstated, one of 500 copies.

The brilliantly designed catalog for this 1982 exhibition, the first by Exit Art, which was held at Franklin Furnace, and was devoted to art which included the concept of illegality. The project was a natural progression from both artists’ shared interest in the subject, as Papo Colo’s first work of art was a forgery of a university diploma, and Ingberman had previously studied art and law. Shortly before the exhibition opened, the two found that they had been given a grant of $4,000 for the show, and so they decided to create a catalog. “Four thousand was an enormous amount of money, and it enabled us to do the catalogue. We made 500 of them. It was the first one we made with a cardboard box. We attached a dollar bill across the top of the box so you had to something illegal – tear the bill – to open it.” – Ingberman, Unfinished Memories p. 8].

The choice of a cardboard box was one of necessity, but became the vital part of the design. “Necessity determines how you are creative... we wanted to have a catalogue, and by necessity it was in a cardboard box. We made the cardboard box the beauty and the creative part of the design. And then we sealed the catalogue by gluing a dollar on top, so it cost us an additional dollar for each catalogue.” [ibid, p.13]

The exhibition included work by Vito Acconci, Gempei Akasegawa, Louis Aragon, Scott Billingsley, Marc Blane, Gunther Brus, Barry Bryant, Chris Burden, Papo Colo, Bogomir Ecker, William Farley, John Fekner, Lou Forgione, John Giorno, Guerilla Art Action Group (GAAG), John Halpern, Abbie Hoffman, Sam Hsieh [aka Tehching Tsieh], Jay Jaroslov, Komar & Melamid, George Maciunas, Gordon Matta Clark, Ann Messner, Richard Mock & Cesar Chavez, Peter Monnig, Charlotte Moorman, Otto Muehl, Herman Nitsch, Dennis Oppenheim, People’s Flag Show, Real Estate Show, and JanVan Raay. The catalog documents the works of all artists in the exhibition except for Brus, Bryant, Forgione, Muehl, Nitsch, People’s Flagshow and Van Raay, as issued.

The work documented in the catalog is incredible, using a wide variety of strategies to approach the topic. There is documentation of Chris Burden’s “Coal to Newcastle”, in which Burden flew a model airplane carrying marijuana which bore the legend “Hecho en U.S.A.” over the border in Mexico, reproductions of William Farley’s censored Kent State stamp, John Giorno’s description of his par- ticipation, with Abbie Hoffman, in the WPAX proj- ect, a photograph of Abbie Hoffman being checked into prison carrying a hacksaw as a bookmark in a copy of “Fire in the Minds of Men”, Richard Mock and Cesar Chavez stealing a section of Christo’s 2 million dollar “Running Fence” sculpture in order to write the number 14 on it to publicize Bill #14, which would allow union organizer’s on private land to unionize migrant workers, and Tehching “Sam” Hsieh issuing his own U. S. Immigration Service wanted poster for being undocumented, and photographs of the occupation of the con- demned building in which the Real Estate Show took place.

This example of the catalog is still sealed with the dollar bill unbroken. The previous owner had carefully opened at one end to avoid committing the suggested crime.

Contents lightly toned, with a light 2" bend to upper left tip of the first three booklets. Near fine. The box is fine and still sealed, with the dollar bill untorn (box has been opened from the side). Item #30335

Price: $1,250.00

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