Exhibition curated by Chris Habib
July 14 - September 29, 2012

For our summer exhibition, Printed Matter is hosting an ambitious instore exhibition entitled HELP/LESS, organized by artist Chris Habib. The store-wide show includes over 200 works that explore the fluidity of authorship in artists’ books and multiples. A program of hands-on workshops and other events will take place during the exhibition. Join us for an opening this Bastille Day at Printed Matter, Saturday, July 14th, 5-7 PM. Click here to see the event on facebook.

Including original artworks, book objects, prints and a tremendous selection of artists’ books, HELP/LESS looks to the various modes and methods of appropriation in contemporary art, including: plagiarism, re-authorship, identity subversion, copyism, substration, redaction, curation from the Commons, collective authorship, forgery, theoretical translation, narrative appropriation and reprography. The books gathered in the show represent many of the significant works that have, by choice or not, framed the conversation about fair use, derivation and the nature of contemporary practice. In the spirit of the books, ephemera and multiples it presents, HELP/LESS re-considers the exhibition space as an object to upset. It considers its viewers and featured artists accomplices. More “here”: on the origins of the show from Chris Habib.

An extensive browsing library reproduced for the occasion will make the majority of books available for handling, with many works available for sale. Works available for purchase can be found on a curated list through the Printed Matter website.

HELP/LESS includes many classic and rare books that address ideas of authorship or gain mileage from pre-existing texts. Works of interest include Buzz Spector’s Altered LeWitt, in which the artist had made vertical tears into LeWitt’s untitled 1972 work published by Gian Enzo Sperone, creating a new sculptural book object in the fragments of layered pages. In “Burning Small Fires”:catalog/12154, Bruce Nauman has set fire Ruscha’s Various Small Fires and Milk, creating a new artists’ book from the documentation of the torched pages. Brian Kennon’s Good Boy by Christopher Wool, a collection of altered Wool paintings created from Misfits song titles, is itself taken up by Visitor, who reimagines a storified version of the oversized book using Samhain lyrics. Broodthaers’ Un Coup de Des Jamais N'abolira le Hasard offers a take on Mallarmé’s 1897 poem by the same name, with the artist reproducing the original work, only with all the text redacted.

The exhibition includes books and other works by: 38th Street Publishers, Kathy Acker, Todd Alden, Greg Allen, Amanda Andersen, Conrad Bakker, Judith Barry, Fred Benenson, Harvey Benge, Bernadette Corporation, Jen Bervin, Mike Bidlo, Scott Blake, Christian Boltanski, William Boyd, Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Stephanie Brooks, Patrick Cariou, Sean Joseph Patrick Carney, Mary Ellen Carroll,Maurizio Cattelan, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Paul Chan, Clem Chivas, A. Collier, Diego Cortez, Peter D'Agostino, Anita Di Bianca, Rutherford Chang, Joshua Deaner, Eric Doeringer, Thomas Dworzak, Laura Edbrook, Sam Falls, Bettina Funcke, Thomas Galler, General Idea, Crispin Hellion Glover, Kim Gordon, Dan Graham, Wade Guyton, Shuruq Harb, David Hammons, Matthea Harvey, Kismaric Heifer, Hester Barnard, Matthew Higgs, Antonia Hirsch, Misha Hollenbach, Stuart Home, Ciprian Homorodean, Glenn Horowitz, Jonathan Horowitz, David Horvitz, Khaled Hourani, Marc Hundley, Jamison Flint, William E Jones, David Jourdan, Steve Kado, Mike Kelley, Brian Kennon, Martin Kippenberger, Joseph Kosuth, Margia Kramer, Tuli Kupferberg, Hyo Kwon, Tanja Lazetic, Antoine Lefebvre, Sherrie Levine, Hanna Liden, Tan Lin, Michael Lobel, Nate Lowman, Sarah Lüdemann, Katou Malou, Nathaniel Matthews, Adam McEwen Jonathan Monk, Simon Morris, Bruno Munari, Bruce Nauman, Olaf Nicolai, Abner Nolan, Soner Ön, Yoko Ono, Denis Oppenheim, Asher Penn, Stephen Perkins, Tom Phillips, Michalis Pichler, Sigmar Polke, Barbara Pollock, Bern Porter, Seth Price, Manny Prieres, Richard Prince, Rob Pruitt, Lee Ranaldo, Gerhard Richter, David Robbins,Torbjorn Rodland, Ed Ruscha, Jonathan Safran Foer, JD Salinger, Joachim Schmit, Andreas Schmidt, Jonathan Seliger, Cindy Sherman,Brian Singer, Leah Singer, Smile Magazine, Dash Snow, Valerie Solanas, Buzz Spector, Chelsea Spengemann, Klaus Staeck, Dan Starling, Superflex, Triin Tamm, Hank Willis Thomas, Mungo Thomson, Visitor, Kara Walker, Kelley Walker, Lawrence Weiner, Werkplaats Typografie, Dirk Westphal, Jocko Weyland, Ofer Wolberger, Christopher Wool, Yes Men, Paul Zelevansky and others.

For the first two weeks of the exhibition, artist Eric Doeringer has installed 30 of his hand-painted knock-offs in the store window, including miniaturized works by Haring, Hirst, Banksy, Gursky, On Kawara, Pettibon, Prince, McGee, Warhol, and many others.

Two ongoing performative ‘transmissions’ will run the course of the exhibition, a Window Fax Project and a Video Page-Through broadcast. In the first case, Habib and other invited artists will send appropriative works through to Printed Matter via Fax. The continuous printouts will fill the front window, though each work will be altered/distorted into something new through exposure to incandescent light. For the Page-Through, Habib will modify a stack of spreads from rare books, broadcasting the transformations of those photographs as he blacks them out, covers them with stickers/stamps, and alters them with cuts. Transmitted images will be available to view by anyone via Google Plus.

In addition, over the course of the exhibition Printed Matter will host a series of artist-led workshops on-site, inviting the audience to become collaborators and conspirators in the generation, propagation and perpetuation of new projects addressing pre-existing works. The participatory workshops– marathon readings, mock trials, live-typing and book bootlegging– will utilize common threads of re-photography, redaction, physical manipulation of mass-market trade titles, and collective authorship/group appropriation to create new works and interrogate existing projects. Attendance is limited for many of the workshops. If you would like to reserve a spot, please email While many of the workshops are free, some require a materials fee.

Workshops and other events will be led by Greg Allen, Hester Barnard, Judith Barry, Eric Doeringer, Chris Habib, Joe Hale, Sophie Hoyle, Brian Kennon, Kenny Goldsmith, Piracy Project (Eva Marie Weinmayr & Andrea Francke), Brian Singer, Marshall Weber, and Ofer Wolberger.

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