Monday, September 28, 2009

Mobius : ABAD Exhibition Boston [22]

Mobius Artists Group exhibited A Book About Death at the South  End Open Studios, 725 Harrison Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, on September 19 - 20, 2009.  The exhibition set up by artist Jane Wang (#414) - Mobius Artists Group, which she collected at A Book About Death's Opening Night at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in New York City.

From Jane Wang: About the ABAD exhibit at Mobius ( )

The current location of Mobius the gallery/performance space is officially and ostensibly part of the South End "Art" district in Boston, MA, USA.   We are located on the outer fringes of this area right across from a hospital which means we do not get much foot traffic and additionally, since we aren't really "selling" objets d'art, during the South End-wide Open Studios, we had several "visitors" who actually just wanted to get into the adjoining "Art Block"  building which only had one artist "representin" and who for some strange reason, didn't bother to put a sign up on their locked front door saying which bell to ring to get in to see his work.  This can be somewhat depressing for our little troupe of experimental artists but fortunately, a few visitors (I had a feeling these might be "real" visitors when I saw the punked out Kool-Aid hair and Goth-like black) actually enthusiastically leaped on the ABAD books which I had so carefully put together and I'm happy to say, they must have looked at every single card and read everything on the cards, even taking copious notes.

When I put together my sixteen books for the ABAD exhibit, I wanted to make sure that both sides of any cards that even just had a little stamp or handwritten text on one of the sides would be visible to the visitors - on the other hand, I wanted to protect each of the cards from too much handling or sticky fingers as the case may be.  It came down to cost and what I felt would look interesting and perhaps even vaguely library/museum-like.  I bought several small Itoya Art Profolio Books (Made in China - oh well what can you do?) and one Recycled Brown Binder, one generic white small binder and one Itoya portfolio large enough to fit the largest card by Jacob Mann as well as several packs of Avery protective sheets.

It was fun to try to come up with some underlying link for each of the books - some were restricted because of size, and I didn't really want to categorize cards by artistic field (partially because I'm somewhat ignorant about this although I probably miscategorized several into two Fluxus-centric books).  I went for my own personal taste in colors and progressions from card to card as one flipped through a book.  Some cards ended up being uncategorizable, so I left them together in a group which in turn perhaps put them ironically in a little grouping together.  And of course, since my own card was part of the collection, I have just enough egomania that I put a lot of thought into which book I wanted my card to be in and which cards would go before and after my card.

The books I came up with which I ended up titling were (several were left untitled although grouped in my mind mentally):
- The Red Book About Death
- The Blue Book About Death
- The Black and White Book About Death
- The Bodily Function and Nude Book About Death
- The Sepia + Black Book About Death
- The Surreal Book About Death
- The Collage and Text Book About Death
- The Fluxus 4x6 Book About Death
- The Fluxus 6x4 and Confused Book About Death *

* this is where my card is between James Thomas Joseph and Ania Gilmore

About Mobius
Mobius (est. 1977) is a non-profit, artist-run organization, whose mission is to generate, shape and test experimental art. The members of the organization believe an effective strategy for supporting this art is to establish grounds that build relationships among fellow artists.  Mobius is committed to structuring environments that foster projects incorporating a wide range of disciplines.  This approach sets in motion situations where the artist's impact can be seen locally, nationally and internationally.  Constructing art initiatives outside accepted frameworks and encouraging animated discourse with the public are fundamental to Mobius.

Founded by Marilyn Arsem in 1977, Mobius is known for incorporating a wide range of the visual, performing, and media arts into innovative live performance, video, installation and intermedia works. Mobius has produced hundreds of original works that have attained critical acclaim in Boston, nationally and internationally. Works created at Mobius have been presented throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Mobius is funded by the Boston Cultural Council, a municipal agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the Oedipus Foundation; by an award for artistic excellence from the Tanne Foundation, and generous private support.

Jane Wang Websites:


The Politics of Shoes said...

Mobius Website:

Gary A. Bibb said...

Thank you Jane for perpetuating the ABAD exhibition and concept.

Gary A. Bibb (#42)

Curious? Was my card in the b&w binder? What number did you get? Each one of my cards were numbered originals and part of a collective concept.

obtw: we also exhibited together in Fluxhibition #3.

Cecil Touchon said...

I think it is interesting how you did the presentation Jane - minimal. What I am considering is to put each card into resealable poly bags as found here: Then I was thinking about using some sort of box or boxes to have the cards in so that people can handle them. I have two sets so it would be possible to do a cluster display like at EHFG with one set and then have the other set where people can handle the individual works. I intend to show the 'book' with photos that I took from the original event, the posters, and artifacts such as bits of the cassette tape and rubber bands from the requiem and any other elements that I can get a hold of like Mark Block's costume and texts, derby's, the text from Keith Buchholz work and any videos that I can acquire. I would also like to have any writings that people do as far as reflections on the event. I want to then publish a catalog of ABAD as well, as time permits.

cecil touchon

The Politics of Shoes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Politics of Shoes said...

Hi Gary,
Let me try that again (typos).
I have 355/500 and on the back it says J perhaps ? followed by 3:16 - is that a date/time stamp or ??
I placed your card in the Recycled Binder on a page by itself between mikelle terson's "Die Everyday" (the card with red string) and Annelise E. Ream's "The Separation Between the Place of Water and the Place of Blood".

And that's terrific that we were both in Fluxhibition 3, I'll have to look for your piece in the online catalogue.

Thanks so much for your comment.


The Politics of Shoes said...

Hello Cecil,

Thank you for your comments and thoughts on how you plan to exhibit ABAD. I would love to see your exhibit and hope you will post photos when it is up - will you put the costume on a mannequin?

Speaking of clothing, I was wondering if for the ABAD opening you were in any way inspired by Stanley Kubrick's version of A Clockwork Orange. Probably not, but I got that image somehow into my head.


ps. I put your card in the Fluxus 4x6 Book About Death between Steve Dalachinsky's "Do read this Book DON'T let it collect dust!" and Susanne Slavik's "Black Friday".

Gary A. Bibb said...

Hi Jane - Thanks for the info. I posted your exhibit w/ links on (under notes for the collection 6.14.2009)

The info on the back was a personal notation.

I look forward to future collaborations.


The Politics of Shoes said...

From Hanne Tierney, curator and performance artist sent to me via email:

"Hi Jane,
I checked everything out there on the BAD, and I feel amazed to realize that one can give something a very substantial existence through the internet. It's impressive what you and everyone else has done about BAD. I suppose the problem, as usual, is time. Someone has to be committed enough to do it. There was one poster that said it all to me. The guy falling through the air. Were the posters displayed? And I loved the categories for your books. When I do my "Narrative" exhibition next fall, I could imagine exhibiting them."

The Politics of Shoes said...

The posters were displayed in the original exhibit - unfortunately for the show at Mobius, I didn't have time to print them and display them - another case of last minute flurry of trying to do an event with the clock hurtling down...
I might put the exhibit up again some time in the future and spend the time to print out and put up the posters.

Perhaps we can have do-it-yourself ABAD Exhibition kits based on how much lead up time you have (assuming a curator with no helpers and budget of less than $100):

Select your Kit option according to your preset time:

1-3 days: ABAD Kit #1
3 days to 1 week: ABAD Kit #2
etc etc

The Politics of Shoes said...

Comment From Facebook::

Sandy Gellis
glad to hear about moma...... a box could be built for them.

The Politics of Shoes said...

Comment from ABAD Facebook Discussion Board Topic:
"A Book About Death Exhibits in other cities"

Hi Jane,
Here is how I do it here in Westfield, NJ. I don't have a whole collection either but close. In my gallery I have an enlarged poster of Matthew's design plus a program as well on the wall. I tried put the cards up on the wall but didn't find that rewarding because people need to read the text on the back side in most cases. So I just put them in piles along the ledge of the gallery's walls. People can pick them up and read them as they please.

All the best!
Michael Chan

The Politics of Shoes said...

From Facebook email:

Sonja Benskin Mesher September 29 at 9:03am:
Jane...just a thought, that I may be able to source a Gallery in Wales, that can exhibit the work. Its up to you! x Sonja

Jane Hsiaoching Wang September 29 at 9:24am:
HI Sonja,
That sounds terrific -
Do you have the collection of cards? or were you thinking I would fly to Wales and bring my set (wow that's tempting! ha ha ha)

I can't remember if you actually had a set.
I wonder if Matthew has any extra sets?
He's on the other side of "the Channel" in Paris.

Thanks so much,

Sonja Benskin Mesher September 29 at 9:29am:
Hi Jane.

No I do not have a set, but am happy to have them sent over maybe @ some point. I will ask Matthew if he has a set.

xx Sonja

The Politics of Shoes said...

From Facebook email:

William Evertson September 29 at 9:36am

Jane - thanks for getting the ball rolling on how others are curating and exhibiting. I'm working on an artist book "box" to house my collection. Hopefully I'll have a pix soon. I'm also talking to two venues for display. I realize I'm missing a few cards but have a few duplicates. Any traders out there?

The Politics of Shoes said...

From Facebook email:

Scott Rummler (artist/actor and more) September 29 at 9:47am:

I would take a look at them then come up with taxonomy groupings and threads then combine them in some creative way. I could tell more if I saw them...

(note from Jane - I sent him the link to the original ABAD blog with all the cards shown individually)

The Politics of Shoes said...

Facebook comments - oh what the hay:: fan mail from other artists - always encouraging and welcome!

Eva Brunner: you did a wonderful job - thank you, Jane!

Angela Ferrara: Yes, I loved! :)


Jane, you know this but if people are interested, the posters (all of them) are free to download and print. And they are high resolution and can be printed large and on fine art paper. I encourage folks to print them out for the exhibitions they are organizing or for their home or office or if they have a nice museum, say on W 53 ST in NYC, that's fine too.


Christine A. Tarantino said...

hi jane,
happy to learn of your exhibit in Boston, many thanks!
A link to opening night photos:
Christine Tarantino, ABAD #70
Wendell Massachusetts