POETRY

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siglio

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Hardcover, 10 x 7.25 in. / 332 pgs / 1155 color.

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 75   

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ISBN 9781938221255 TRADE
List Price: $45.00 CDN $63.00 GBP £40.00

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In stock

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SIGLIO

Bernadette Mayer: Memory


Featured image is reproduced from 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory.'

A revered classic of 1970s New York conceptualism, Bernadette Mayer’s Memory synthesizes writing and photography in this prescient “emotional science project”

In July 1971, Bernadette Mayer embarked on an experiment: for one month she shot a roll of 35mm film each day and kept a journal. The result was a conceptual work that investigates the nature of memory, its surfaces, textures and material. Memory is both monumental in scope (over 1,100 photographs, two hundred pages of text and six hours of audio recording) and a groundbreaking work by a poet who is widely regarded as one of the most innovative experimental writers of her generation. Presaging Mayer’s durational, constraint-based diaristic works of poetry, it also evinces her extraordinary—and often unheralded—contribution to conceptual art.

Mayer has called Memory “an emotional science project,” but it is far from confessional. This boldly experimental record follows the poet’s eye as she traverses early morning into night, as quotidian minutiae metamorphose into the lyrical, as her stream of consciousness becomes incantatory. In text and image, Mayer constructs the mercurial consciousness of the present moment from which memory is—as she says—“always there, to be entered, like the world of dreams or an ongoing TV show.”

This publication brings together the full sequence of images and text for the first time in book form, making space for a work that has been legendary but mostly invisible. Originally exhibited in 1972 by pioneering gallerist Holly Solomon, it was not shown again in its entirety until 2016 at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago and then again in 2017 in New York City at the CANADA Gallery. The text was published without the photographs in 1975 by North Atlantic Books in an edition that has long been out of print.

Bernadette Mayer (born 1945) is the author of over 30 books, including the acclaimed Midwinter Day (1982), a book-length poem written during a single day in Lenox, Massachusetts, The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994) and Work and Days (2016), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Associated with the New York School as well as the Language poets, Mayer has also been an influential teacher and editor. In the art world, she is best known for her collaboration with Vito Acconci as editors of the influential mimeographed magazine 0 TO 9.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Bookforum

Jennifer Krasinski

A fabled work of installation art that plunged viewers headlong into the fizzing slipstream of [Mayer's] consciousness [...] Her epic's newest form: a treasure of a book

Publishers Weekly

Editors

This substantial volume will engage fans of Mayer and introduce new readers to a particular and remarkable voice.

Elephant

Emily Gosling

The American artist and poet spent one month in 1971 photographing her day-to-day life in minute detail, sharing both intimate and mundane moments, and delving into the slippery nature of memory.

Paris Review

Each of Mayer’s daily journal entries rolls and eddies as she allows herself to thoroughly investigate the elasticity of language and the contours of her mind. Arrayed in grids, the photographs—of grass, cats, friends, flags, skies, boats, herself, the moon—fix into place the minutiae of her days.

Garage

Phoebe Chen

Memory is not strictly a diary, but it pockets the day with similar devices; the entries read like consciousness spilled, even though, after the fact, she used both journal notes and the photos to refine and complete the text. Lines fall and trip over themselves to keep pace with her thought; objects are pilfered from their verbs; words and phrases repeat so many times they end up aural refrains cleaved from ordinary meaning.

BOMB

Diana Hamilton

Though Mayer’s writing has exemplified many of the stylistic traits of the New York School—detailing day-to-day life, chattiness, an emphasis on memory, an eschewal of lyric sanctimony—she explicitly rejected her then-contemporaries’ “addiction to style.” Her ambitions here are not stylistic, but relational: the goal was to, without writing a book, get the audience to become “a real reader,” by which she meant she would give them so much access that they might become her. I, sadly, did not become Bernadette Mayer reading Memory—which reassures me that the projects of both Memory and memory are ongoing, after all.

Hyperallergic

Marcella Durand

In Memory, the poet shapes a new visual and textual language that explores the simmering possibilities of consciousness.

Bernadette Mayer: Memory

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/30/2020

Powerful 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory' is new from Siglio Press

Powerful 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory' is new from Siglio Press

Before there was Instagram, before there were selfies and iPhones, there was Bernadette Mayer's "emotional science project," Memory. Featured grid—culled from more than 1,100 photographs in all, made over the course of July 1971, one 35mm roll of film per day—is from the sequence shot on July 5. "With this road you didn't need a house," Mayer writes in the accompanying daily text, "everyone set the sun & sense the presence of other people. This is about watching other people, then creating someone for people to watch, understanding the desire to watch other people to understand them or just to watch them, not finding any place to set things down then save this for later & wait. I saw I talked about. The sun set…" continue to blog


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