Ulises Carrion, Dear Reader. Don’t Read, 1973.
370 x 240 mm. Two hand-printed sheets (black on cream) fixed to grey card, handmade by the artist. One of Ulises Carrion’s most important works, exhibited in The Netherlands in 1973. Unsigned. Each work has handwritten text on verso stating ‘U. Carrion, “Dear Reader Don’t Read”’.
The work offered here predates the similar diptych piece in the retrospective exhibition at the Reina Sofia, Madrid (which is drawn from a private Paris-based collection and dated 1975). Thus, this work is the earlier of the two known versions. The curators of the Reina Sofia exhibition noted the symbolic importance of this piece to Carrion’s wider oeuvre by not only naming the exhibition ‘Dear Reader Don’t Read’ but by also stating that:
Ulises Carrión’s constant search for new cultural strategies… were determined by two fundamental themes: structure and language…This duality corresponds to the exhibition title Dear reader. Don’t read—taken from his diptych of the same name— which illustrates his ambiguous relation to literature, a recurring theme in his work.
– Reina Sofia, March 2016.
Unlike the version exhibited at the Reina Sofia, which was displayed side-by-side, the verso to Dear Reader is inscribed ‘above’ and Don’t Read ‘below’ (in Dutch). Price and provenance on request.
Ulises Carrion, Love Stories, 1972. 240 x 340 mm. Pink felt tip pen on grey card. Signed and dated by the artist in pencil. These works were exhibited in 1972, a year later the publication Conjugation. Love Stories was published in book format using numbered, typewritten pages by Exp/Press, Utrecht, 1973. Price and provenance on request.
Ulises Carrion, Box Clinch: A Sound Performance by Ulises Carrion, 1978. 413 x 270 mm. Silkscreen poster printed blue and red on white.
Ulises Carrion, sstt!!, 1973. 105 x 74 mm (framed). A unique stamp work on paper, in original frame, as framed by the artist. The work was exhibited in the ‘Sstt!!’ exhibition at Mijn Galerijtje in Breda in 1973. A photograph of the work in an installation shot of the exhibition is reproduced in Guy Schraenen, Ulises Carrión: “We have won! Haven’t we?”(Amsterdam: Museum Fodor, 1992), p. 10.
Ulises Carrion, Chinese Checkers Song, seven b/w photographs, each 126 x 177 mm, numbered 1-7; number 1 titled and signed on reverse in capital letters by the artist (ca. 1981). Exhibited in travelling group exhibition “Ook een Kunst. Installaties en Performances”, 1982.
The photographs show a turntable (record player) that has a gathering of glass coloured marbles on its circular platform/top. Then the photographs record the ‘event’ as the turntable is switched on and spins at various speeds. The title ‘Chinese Checkers’ comes from the game involving marbles where the marbles are removed by leapfrogging each other until as few marbles as possible are left in the centre. These photographs were mounted directly on the walls and were loaned by the artist for the travelling group exhibition “Ook een Kunst. Installaties en Performances”, 1982. A related video work, entitled ‘Chinese Checker Choir’, was made in 1980, using a different turntable and filmed directly from above.
The Mexican critic, and author of ‘The Four Periods of Ulises Carrion’ (in Ulisses Carrion: Catalogue Raissone (Document-Art, Buenos Aires, 2013)), Heriberto Yépez, writes: In the early 1980’s, Ulises Carrión was experimenting with photoworks. He was in another one of his strategic transitions, and photography was crucial at that stage. He was thinking then about media and what would later be called remediation. “Chinese Checkers” comes from this particular period of Carrión’s late work, but is nonetheless closely related to his lifetime obsession with obsolescence and innovation, rules and interventions, sub-systems and tactical disruptions. “Chinese Checkers” from 1982 is a unique and intriguing piece that more than just having one straight meaning is all about the entanglement between games and media, series and thought.
Ulisses Carrion, contribution to the visual poetry assembling publication Povis no. 4-5, 1977.