Artist Call: A Book About Death


Opening, Thursday, 10 September 2009.

Exhibition: 10 - 22 September 2009. Emily Harvey Foundation 537 Broadway New York City, New York 10012 USA

1000 Artists Each Produce Their Edition Of 500 Postcards In The Sprawling Unbound 1000-Page A Book About Death. The Book Will Be A Limited Edition: 500 Copies (Following The Number Of Artist Produced Cards).

An Open Call To Artists Worldwide To Contribute To A BOOK ABOUT DEATH.

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH is an open, unbound book produced by artists worldwide. Artists are invited to create a "page" in the form of a postcard about death– any aspect about death. Works can be of any design, personal or conceptual, color or black and white.

The original work about death stays with you, the artist; the 500 postcards produced from the work is for the exhibition, and are sent to the gallery.

Artists can include any information about themselves on the cards, front or back.

The 500 post cards are then mailed to the gallery in New York City for exhibition.

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH takes its inspiration from the late, underground American artist Ray Johnson (1927 - 1995). Ray Johnson’s unbound “book” of the same title was mailed to his New York Correspondence School “students” and included pages in his idiosyncratic style that were funny, sad and ironic “one-page essays” on death. With the A BOOK ABOUT DEATH project, artists are invited to plunge into subject in creating their own pages that score the dramatic final dance of death.

EXHIBITION & EVENT: Each artist contribution will be displayed in the Emily Harvey Foundation gallery space in New York. Visitors will be free to take cards and create their own book about death. As the cards are removed, the exhibition will disappear.

During the exhibition, a lecture/panel discussion will take place with a number of leading writers, curators, artists and collectors bringing together a number of salient ideas about death, books, mail art works, Ray Johnson and the global nature of A BOOK ABOUT DEATH. The panel list will be announced when it is finalized this summer.

There will also be a website for the exhibition, serving as the portal for A BOOK ABOUT DEATH.

1. Produce an artwork about death. Make 500 postcards and mail the package to A BOOK ABOUT DEATH c/o Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery 537 Broadway New York City, New York 10012. All submissions will be accepted if they arrive in time. Artists may produce more than one card if they wish.

DEADLINE: Postcards should be in the gallery no later than 5 September 2009.

2. Once images are produced, a light-weight jpg should be e mailed to MATTHEW ROSE, along with the artist's name and URL (artist web site address) for publication on the blog – http://abookaboutdeath.blogspot.com/. This will allow the organizers to archive the works and artist details. Other artists will also be able to visit the exhibition in progress.

Note: An “official” website is now being created by artist Caterina Verde at the address: A BOOK ABOUT DEATH

The artist is 100 percent responsible for her/his image and card and delivery to the gallery.

FORMAT: Postcards should be at least 4 x 6 inches or 10 x 15 cm, but can be any size, but no larger than A4 or 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

To help unify the edition, please include the words "A BOOK ABOUT DEATH" on your printed post cards.

We have also included an image/text by Ray Johnson that could be printed on your cards.

PRINTING OPTIONS: You can either produce the cards yourself or upload the file to any number of printers for delivery to the gallery. You, as the artist are in complete control of your artwork and cards.

Option 1: A very inexpensive online printer offers extremely reasonable prices for a 4 x 6 inch (or 10 x 15 cm) card. PDF upload or online design is possible. Payment directly to the printer via MasterCard, PayPal, VISA are options. Please see: Overnight Prints.

Please note: The exhibition organizers are not working with this printer but in our research have determined that their prices are some of the lowest on the market, their print quality is high, service is good and delivery to a NYC address via United Parcel Service is a very good option.

Option 2: Alternately, artists are free to produce their own cards locally if they need to supervise print and image quality. Artists can sign and number their cards if they wish.

Option 3: Artists can also produce handmade cards, however, these cards must be in an edition of 500 to ensure continuity with other images. Artists can sign and number their handmade cards if they would like. Variety in paper and material is encouraged.

Unfortunately we cannot pay any artist or production fees. Each artist has to finance production and delivery. Like in life.

LASTLY: The organizers will not collect cards for the artists. Institutions who wish to have a complete book will have to come to the gallery space and get their own pages/cards or assign someone to do it for them. The organizers are not responsible for the cards, but will see to it that all cards received are displayed and available to visitors. The organizers are not responsible for the return of any remaining cards; should there be any remaining cards, these will become part of the EHF archive.


This kind of exhibition functions best when one artist contacts another and encourages participation. We would like to have a large and inclusive "book," one that touches upon the broad subject of death in many languages and cultures. There are no taboos here, no age limits, no areas or ideas that are prohibited. The exhibition organizers only ask that you submit good work, worthy of an interesting and exciting page in this global book. Please note that A BOOK ABOUT DEATH is not a commercial venture. The Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery has generously donated the exhibition space for the duration of the exhibition.


I am going to participate in this. I look forward to seeing the end result--creating my own book about death--and so I may have to go down to NYC to see this show also...

No comments:

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.