DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum) was organized by David Horvitz, and features:
Mary Walling Blackburn
Daniel Gustav Cramer
Sarah Rara Anderson
Josh Kit Clayton
Michael G. Bauer
An edition of 30 exhibitions were made, containing small works by the 27 artists. They were all bound in a four-flap, an archival enclosure used in libraries for the purpose of shelving loose prints. An ISBN was purchased for the exhibition. Meta-data was also inputted into WorldCat, the cataloging database librarians use to input and retrieve a publication’s information. With the exhibition’s meta-data existing in two digital databases, all thirty of them were sent to libraries around the world through the transaction of a book-donation (they were all made to exist, initially, as gifts, and only as gifts). The idea was that, since they were already legitimately placed in the two widely used digital systems, that they would slip with ease into the respective library’s collection. If accepted, they become subject to the rules and regulations of the library. Some may circulate, some may be held in special collections that are only accessible by appointment (where they can be handled with white gloves and looked at in the surrounding silence of the library). Some libraries may allow them to go on loan, making them an exhibition-ready-to-be-checked-out-and-displayed. Or, in the cases where they may be refused admittance, they may disappear, like the used-book with no place to go that one finds in the discarded-pile at a library sale.
All 30 were donated. 1 other exists as the “artist-proof.”
This blog will serve as the project’s documentation. Only 7 of the 27 artists’ pieces can be seen here. To see the rest, it is suggested, that you go to a library near you (the list is below).
RAID Projects in Los Angeles will be taking the project out on loan from USC’s Architecture and Fine Art Library and exhibiting it April 3 – April 9.
The title refers to the most notorious of the book-worms, whose high reproduction rate sends larvae in the hundreds of thousands each year burrowing into books and shelves. The above photo was found in the article, Preservation of Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Huntington Library by Thomas M. Iiams in The Library Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Oct., 1932), and depicts a technique from the 1930’s for removing book-worms.
The three carbon drawings pictured above are Annegret Kellner’s original contribution. These three drawings, plus the 28 carbon copies, are lost somewhere in mail transit between Amsterdam and New York. The exhibitions currently include new drawings of the same subject matter, made when the original package did not arrive (and instead of mailing them, they were carried by various people on airplanes from Amsterdam to Berlin to New York).
Actual Reality Mp3
Luke Fischbeck’s piece for the exhibition, Actual Reality for 31 Voices (2010), is 31 unique musical scores dispersed throughout the editions. The above mp3 is what it sounds like when they are all played together.
The accompanying type-written letters included “AD LIBROS” above the signature. A play off of ex libris, commonly found on book-plates, meaning “from the books of…” Ad libros reverses the direction, “for the books…”
A precedent to DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum) is Marcel Duchamp’s boîtes-en-valise – editioned miniature replicas of his work bound in a leather box. Yet, it is not just the similarity between the exhibition in a box – or the exhibition in a box editions – but Duchamp’s own trickster qualities. When the Second World War broke out across Europe, Duchamp found himself (with the help of Varian Fry) dressed as cheese buyer from Paris, sneaking the boxes through Occupied France to Marseilles, to Lisboa, and then across the Atlantic to New York in 1942. As Duchamp’s boxes were disguised as cheese to cross international borders amidst a World War, these come as gifts amidst hard economic times (an economic period in which libraries are most grateful of donations because many face budget cuts). Yet, unlike the story of the Trojan Horse, this gift is not guised as a gift with the sole intention of infiltration. It is given as a true gift – as a sacrifice, with no guarantee of acceptance, and with nothing expected in return.
USC Fine Art and Architecture Library (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY, USA)
CCS, Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, NY, USA)
California College of the Arts (Oakland, CA, USA)
The Contemporary Museum Honolulu (Honolulu, HI, USA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
Library of National Congress (Washington DC, USA)
Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado, USA)
Chicago Art Institute (Chicago, IL, USA)
Museum of Fine Art Boston (Boston, MA, USA)
Museum of Contemporary Art Miami (Miami, FL, USA)
Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, Texas, USA)
Townhouse (Cairo, Egypt)
Museo Tamayo (Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico)
Vancouver Art Gallery Library (Vancouver, Canada)
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Tehran, Iran)
MCA Library (Sydney, Australia)
The University of Auckland Library (Aukland, New Zealand)
Stedelijk Museum Library (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Tate Library and Archive Collections (London, UK)
Hamburger Banhof (Berlin, Germany)
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Bolzano, Italy)
Muzeum Sztuki (Łódź, Poland)
Bibliothèque publique d’information (Paris, France)
21st Century of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Japan)
National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea)
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art (Shanghai, China)
İstanbul Modern Library (Istanbul, Turkey)
The double-sided title-page/works-list that was included in each exhibition. Download PDF available here: Library-1
Not included in the above is:
These are two post-cards that are mailed separately to the libraries by Mary. The list above includes the contents found in the four-flap upon arrival, which is why the post-cards were not listed.