Friday, 23 March 2012

Printed in Norfolk: Coracle Publications 1989-2011

"Printed in Norfolk: Coracle Publications 1989-2012

20 March - 21 April 2012
A rare opportunity to see an exhibition and reading room showcasing work by leading small press and artists' book publisher Coracle. Printed in Norfolk focuses on publications produced during a twenty-year period when Coracle directors artist, poet and curator Simon Cutts and artist and writer Erica Van Horn regularly made work with Kings Lynn printer Crome and Akers and book binder Stuart Settle from Fakenham.
On show will be artists' books, poetry, ephemera, catalogues, critical documents and anthologies. Alongside works by Cutts and Van Horn, will be publications produced in collaboration with leading artists (Kurt Schwitters, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Gustav Metzger, Paul Etienne Lincoln and Yoko Terauchi) and poets (John Bevis, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Harry Gilonis, Susan Howe, Cralan Kelder, Thomas Meyer and William Minor).
This is a touring exhibition organised by RGAP (Research Group for Artists Publications) and Helen Mitchell and supported by The Arts Council England and the Henry Moore Foundation. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Colin Sackett and published by RGAP."
Personal Reaction: I attended the Exhibition Tuesday March 22nd, 2012 and found the "Manifestation of The Poem" by Simon Cutts to be one of the most captivating of books. The phrase, "The book is the manifestation of the poem" and "The poem is the manifestation of the book" were printed on either side of one another, on which appeared to be, tracing paper or other form of see-through paper. The sentences were printed backwards, as if being read in the reflection of a mirror. This form of print, was quite visually entrapping and allowed me (the viewer) to stay and reflect upon the phrases. It made me ponder, "Well, which one is it? Is it the poem which is the manifestation of the book or otherwise? Perhaps it is both? How can it be both? Is it some form of duality, where each cannot exist without one another, like how John Keats teaches us happiness cannot exist unless sadness does, in 'Ode to Melancholy'?" 
Also, most encapsulating were the photographic works of "Six Jugs" by Bill Culbert, where the spilt water was actually cleverly cut glass. This was revealed to the audience in one of the photos on display. This trickery is most playful and ingenuitive. 
The display of print work by Bill Culbert and Simon Cutts, especially, "Some More Notes on Writing and Drinking", I enjoyed and the mergence of tangible objects that were displayed with the books, were most interesting (see below). It made the connection blatantly evident and provided more rich texture, that could unfortunately not be touched behind its glass covers. However, the exhibition did have tables and chairs available where some printed editions were vulnerable to audience interaction. 
Photograph of Simon Cutts and Bill Culbert's printed materials, NUCA Gallery, 2012
I also enjoyed reading this quote pertaining to Coracle: 
“Coracle has, through her art and books, reinvented the very idea of line, and place,
thus defying lineage and placement. Coracle is that rare vessel that travels lightly,
even with substantial gear, and knows how to navigate between waves.”
-Roger Conover, Executive Editor, MIT Press

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