ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Siglio/Ugly Duckling Presse

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6.75 x 8.75 in. / 128 pgs / 37 color / 54 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 108   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781938221170 TRADE
List Price: $30.00 CDN $40.00 GBP £27.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

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SIGLIO/UGLY DUCKLING PRESSE

Mirtha Dermisache: Selected Writings

Edited by Daniel Owen, Lisa Pearson.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Mirtha Dermisache: Selected Writings.'

Argentinian artist Mirtha Dermisache (1940–2012) wrote dozens of books, hundreds of letters and postcards, and countless texts. Not a single one was legible, yet, in their promixity to language, they all resonate with a mysterious potential for meaning. Using ink on paper, Dermisache invented an array of graphic languages, each with their own unique lexical and syntactic structures. Some resemble a child’s scrawl; others feel like nets or knots or transcriptions of seismic waves. Praised by Roland Barthes in the early ‘70s for the “extreme intelligence of the theoretical problems related to writing that [her] work entails,” Dermisache’s graphisms suggest both an abstract “essence of writing” and a concrete democratization of written forms. Selected Writings, the first collection of Dermisache’s works to be published in the US, collects two complete books and a selection of texts from the early 1970s, a rich and prolific period for the artist.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Mirtha Dermisache: Selected Writings.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The Paris Review

Will Fenstermaker

Her work, which she created while living under the junta in Argentina, is lasting and subversive even though she barely penned a legible word...In our current environment, it is difficult to look at her work and not think about the impossibility of discourse, the primacy of self-expression, and the fallacy of a shared objective language, not to think of this art as both radically political and necessary today.

Print Magazine

Steven Heller

Siglio Press gets my vote for publishing the best books combining avant garde art with graphic design and typography.

Artforum

Henrique Faria

Dermisache's aim for interaction creates a dynamic tension with the private language we encounter in her writings.

The Brooklyn Rail

Megan N. Liberty

Her lines include no recognizable alphabetical markings; instead, they gather and space in such a way as to evoke language without producing it.

Lithub

J. Mae Barizo

Like viewing a complex future language.

Brainpickings

Maria Popova

A poetic reminder that language itself is an invention.

Saposcat

Each of these writings constitutes an autonomous world, a small kingdom that does not exist outside of the gestures that have shaped it.

Hyperallergic

Louis Bury

Dermisache’s writings will never disclose all their flinty secrets, but lately it has become easier to understand something of what they’ve been trying to tell us all along.

The Paris Review Daily

John Vincler

I wondered if I was seeing in this mode of illegible writing a performance of doubt, an author’s hand hovering over and exploring the contours of an idea or feeling, unsure of how to proceed, and when continuing onward, doing so only haltingly.

FullStop

Joe Milazzo

Think of this “book” as a primer that instructs us in nothing other than how to brilliantly rearrange loops, humps, and strokes (the hand’s path from one letter to another) into a wholly othered coherence.

Mirtha Dermisache: Selected Writings

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/15/2018

The enigmatic, unreadable writings of Mirtha Dermisache

The enigmatic, unreadable writings of Mirtha Dermisache

So quiet, so dreamlike-familiar, so provocative—and enigmatic. Selected Writings, new from Siglio and Ugly Duckling Presse, collects the illegible, seemingly cryptographic, but in fact semantically contentless graphic writings of Mirtha Dermisache, who lived and worked under the Argentinean junta, and died in 2012. "I started writing and the result was something unreadable," she is quoted in the book. "In fact, illegibility is a key aspect of my work. With hindsight, I must admit that all my works create some tension between the communication formats offering a stable framework and the act of writing, which provides the unstable dimension. Maybe it's like saying that for me the liberation of the sign takes place within culture and history, and not on their margins. In this sense my work is not behind the times at all. Graphically speaking, every time I start writing I develop a formal idea that can be transformed into the idea of time. My work is characterized by movement. There are no closed forms." continue to blog


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