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Mo?nost [Possibility], nos. 11, 14, 15, 19 (Setrva?nost II)
self-published, [Prague] 1983 - Square octavos (ca. 21 × 21 cm each). Card boards covered by original photographic prints; typescript carbon copies to rectos on translucent rice paper; numerous photographic prints throughout. Light wear to spine extremities; overall very good. [SAMIZDAT AS A CONCEPTUAL ART PROJECT]. Four issues of an extremely uncommon Czech samizdat artist publication, published during the last decade of the Normalization era (1980-1989) by Josef ?togr and his wife Jarmila, then living in an art studio in Prague. Most contributions - poetry, essays, rock music reviews, meditations, experimental photography - are not credited or signed with pseudonyms or initials; a handful of readily identifiable texts are by Bob Dylan, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Gabriel Marcel. Numerous titles from this series were shown in 2014 as part of an artist book exhibition involving ?togr and the curator Lucie Rohanová, at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. We quote from the curator's description: "Mo?nost focused on literature in the widest sense of the word . and in "texts about", also took notice of art (a remarkably short time after its creation, it for example featured reflections on the work of Christ, Kaprowov, etc.). But it also featured visual works directly - the ?togrs lived in a studio that belonged to Jarmila's father, painter Franti?ek Dole?al, constantly in the midst of paintings in various stages of creation, and both were involved in artistic experimentation. Josef, for example, in linocuts, which he chose as the most accessible printing method for the production of posters for exhibitions, and within the scope of his experiments even created a font from linoleum that he used to typeset a samizdat text by Bohuslav Reynek. Using his own method that pushed the limits of printing (using a hammer strokes or just applying pressure with a hard object to print through carbon paper to the underlying paper) he then created illustrations that were oddly compatible with typewritten carbon copies. Mo?nost also often contained Josef's photo-based graphic art (a negative of a slice of bread evokes a moonscape, a close-up of glass reveals a galaxy on a soda pop bottle) and photography (a geometrical view of the elevator in their apartment building, connected to their eluding the StB - the State Security police). Mo?nost consisted of its publisher's cultural discoveries planted into the stream of his reflections, and poetry and comments on art were opportunities for experimentation." The photographic covers of these four issues demonstrate ?togr's interest in close-up photograph, showing an up-close shot of a typewriter, as well as three unidentified motifs. The photographs within the text show faint patterns resembling type-written text; various parts of a typewriter in action; newspaper texts; unidentified art objects and sculptures. One issue includes a leaf of text printed in ?togr's linoleum font. The typewriters used seem to vary from issue to issue; some of the leaves are cut to different sizes (diverging from the overall square format). In 2017, an annotated selection of the Mo?nost issues was published (J. ?togr and Jarmila ?togrová-Dole?alová, "Mo?nost samizdatu," Plze?: Knihovna kardinála Berana, 2017). Outside the Czech Republic, KVK and OCLC only show holdings at the British Library. [Attributes: Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Penka Rare Books, ILAB]
Last Found On: 2018-02-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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