press release

Opening Reception: Sept 10, 7:00 - 10 pm with performances & reading by Carolee Schneemann, David Shapiro, Michael Andre, Hens Breet, Colleen Nika, Phil Shinn, Jac Charlesworth, Cecil Touchon, Colette Copeland, Keith Buchholz, Simon Critchley, Mark Bloch

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH : AN UNBOUND BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF DEATH The Emily Harvey Foundation is pleased to present A Book About Death, a sprawling, collaborative unbound "book" on the subject of death at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in New York. The opening, on Thursday, September 10, 2009, one day shy of 9/11, brings together hundreds of artists in a global exhibition that honors the late artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995), whose own work inspired this exhibition; Emily Harvey (1941-2004); and the artists themselves, who have presented their unique visions of the subject through combinations of art, photography, and text.

Conceived and organized by Matthew Rose, a Paris-based American artist, A Book About Death is comprised of artists' postcards from original art created specifically for the exhibit. These pieces collectively form the pages of the "book." While many of the artists involved in the exhibition are internationally known – Yoko Ono, Eric Andersen, Peter Schuyff, Rodney Alan Greenblat – all of the artists share the stage equally. Each artist has contributed 500 postcards to the exhibit, and visitors to the gallery are encouraged to take "pages" away with them to create their own book about death. The exhibit is thus designed to "disappear" on its own schedule as people attend the exhibit.

"Ray Johnson is part of the history and spirit of The Emily Harvey Gallery, now The Emily Harvey Foundation," explains Christian Xatrec, EHF NYC director. "Taking the title from Ray Johnson, Matthew Rose's A Book About Death project refers to Ray’s groundbreaking-work in the ephemeral, expanded field of correspondence art.

However, this show sets those key Johnsonian concepts on a new course, in sync with the evolving interests of the Emily Harvey Foundation program today. The developing mission of the Foundation, and Rose's show, refuse the notion of hierarchy and the buttressing of institutional framings."

"Understanding death in any complete sense, doesn't seem at all possible if you're alive, but these artists have fleshed out many hundreds of approaches," says Matthew Rose. The artist pays tribute to his own mother, Doris, who died during the project, with a photograph of her taken on her wedding day, January 18, 1948. "I'm pleasantly astonished at the intellectual breadth and high humor of the works, and I think both Ray and Emily – and even my mother – would be, too. It's a fascinating book."

RAY JOHNSON "Between March 1963 and early 1965, Ray Johnson sent out an unbound 'book' in the mail one page at a time," explains Mark Bloch, one 13 speakers and performers for the opening night. "It was a largely unnoticed milestone in the history of books. To make things even more interesting, like much of Johnson's art, it took as its subject ‘death’. Now almost 15 years after the mysterious death of Johnson himself, a huge cross-section of international artists have been asked to revisit Johnson's original strategy by submitting one page each to a new 'Book About Death.'"

"I think it's going to be a real 1960s-style Happening for the new millennium," adds Bloch. That "happening" will also be webcast live – to fit the 21st century and the global nature of this project.

"This project has been compelling for its sheer openness on a topic that is universal," says Caterina Verde, artist and website designer of the "wall" style site for A Book About Death. "To see the images submitted from around the world and the cultural permutations of the subject, the variations of temperament, thoughts, aesthetics --- is as we observe ourselves walking through life : Ordinary and extraordinary."

"The distribution of art and ideas was very much Ray Johnson's thing," says Denverbased photographer Mark Sink, who contributed a photograph of his mother, a three-time cancer survivor, to the exhibition. "It's very exciting to see him and the concept honored in this exhibition." Sink noted that when first confronted with the project, he drew a blank on death. Then, with some time, the ideas came rushing in. "Life is all about death -- Freud's dissertation of the human drive – sex or death and 'the death of analog...the death of our culture…the slaughter of self-aware sea mammals, and of course, our dying earth. Now I can't stop thinking about it!" Verde, for one, is "surprised to see that there are no images – besides David Rager's poster – that touch upon 9/11, as the opening is the day before the anniversary. Perhaps," she muses, "this is still a taboo subject."

"A Book About Death has become a book about life," adds Joan Harrison, artist, writer. "I have the strangest sense I can hear Ray (Johnson) chuckling over my shoulder every time I work on anything involved with this project!"

OPENING PROGRAM An opening program is set with Carolee Schneemann, David Shapiro, Colette Copeland, Michael Andre, Mark Bloch, Colleen Nika, Hens Breet, Jac Charlesworth, Cecil Touchon and Keith Buchholz, Simon Critchley, Brabdstufte and Dr. Phil Shinn. A live webcast of the opening will be available not only for those artists who have contributed from all corners of the globe, but for anyone interested to see the work up close and the performers and speakers. A videotape will be produced afterwards from the many videos taken during the opening – yet another aspect of the global collaboration. [Webcast address:] Posters especially produced for the exhibition by designers Julia Hoffmann, Robert Mars, Cecil Touchon, Caterina Verde, Matthew Rose, David Rager and Osiris Hertz have been offered free as high-resolution PDFs on the web site: Visitors to the site are encouraged to download the posters and print them at home.

SOCIAL VIRAL ARTWORLD The project has taken off in a viral way via FaceBook, e-mail, Twitter and word of mouth in artist communities from Spain and Belgium to Australia and Brooklyn. FaceBook was a particularly powerful organizing medium: a group was formed and an event page was created. Artists began to network, talk to each other and collaborate on performances, posters and, of course getting feedback on their works. Very much Ray Johnson-envisioned, this exhibition is a collage of people, some living some dead, all very much a part of this very special happening.

With projects like A Book About Death, a collaborative work involving creative acts from all directions, the Emily Harvey Foundation concerns itself with supporting ideas resistant to boundaries of easy legibility," explains Xatrec. "Our emphasis is on giving voice, and momentary material form, to discursive and process-based practices," he says. "Show by show, we aim to move within the vicissitudes of collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches, generating alternatives to other more solid frameworks for contemporary practice."

For more details, please see the links for the live webcast, sponsors, posters the opening program, and other information, as well as the "wall" of all the art works on both and



only in german

einProjekt von Matthew Rose

Künstler: Carolee Schneemann, David Shapiro, Michael Andre, Hens Breet, Colleen Nika, Phil Shinn, Jac Charlesworth, Cecil Touchon, Colette Copeland, Keith Buchholz, Simon Critchley, Mark Bloch
Abha Iyengar, Adam Benjamin Fung & Sonja Bendel, Aga Silva, Alana Delts (Yelena Deltsova), Aldo Tambellini, Amanda Peskin, Amy White, Alejandra Lunden, Alejandra Phelts, Alessandro Rolandi, Alex Hunter, Alex Tennigkeit, Alexia Creusen, Alexandra Rutsch, Allan Revich, Amanda Peskin, Amanda Curreri, Amber George, Ambra Corinti, Amir Ghazi-Noory, Ana Himes, Anahita Bathaie, Andrea Moni, Andrea Williamson, Andrei Rozen, Andrew Bretherton, Andrew Eyman, Andrew Johnson, Angela Ferrara, Ania Gilmore, Anki King, Ann Giordano, Ann Klefstad, Ann Stoddard, Anna Boschi, Anna Bresnick, Anna Schwamborn, Anna Ursyn, Annelise Ream, Audrey Fox, Aviva Beigel, Barbara Nessim, Ben Altman, Ben Elmer Brown, Benoit David, Benoit David & Dominique Richard, Benoit Delhaye, Bernd Reichert, Berty Skuber, Beth Grabowski, Beth Robinson, Bethany Schlegel, Betty Esperanza, Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Birgit Huttemann-Holz, Bonnie Gloris, Bonny Finberg, Bradley Lance Moore, Branka Djordjevic, Brendan Jamison, Buddha University, Buz Blurr, C. Mehrl Bennett, Camille Dela Rosa, Camelia Elias, Camilla Fallon, Carlos Luis De Medeiros, Carisa Swenson & Steve Harrison, Carol Caputo, Carol Tedesco, Carol Todaro, Carol Starr, Carolena Costa, Carolyn McKay, Carrie Chalmers, Carrie Crow & John Greiner, Carrie Iverson, Carrie Scanga, Caterina Verde, Cathie Borrie, Cecil Touchon, Cecilia Muhlstein, Cecilie Dahl, Cesare Oliva, Champe Smith, Chloe Sherman-Pepe, Chris Coffin, Chris Graefensteiner, Chris Gunton, Chris Lusher, Chris “Mudhead” Reynolds, Christelle Montus, Christine Tarantino & Claudio Romeo, Christopher Baker, Christopher Dunkle, Christopher Westlund, Christina Stahr, Christy Ann Brown, Cindy Zimmerman, CJ Tanedo, Claude Cortinovis, Claudia Drake, Closed Chan , Clyde Espenschied, Coco Gordon, Colette Copeland, Colette Coughlin, Corinne Bunzl, Constance Sloggatt Wolf, Constantine Ladikos, Cynthia C. Petry, Dale Copeland, Dame Mailarta, Dan McCormack, Dan Shulman, Daniel Zitka, Daniela Akerblom, Danielle Voirin, Daina Almario-Kopp, Daque, Deborah Goldman, Deborah T. Colter, Denyse Murphy, Diane Bertrand, Diane Lou, Dominic Khoo, Dominica Sanchez, Dominique Richard, Don Boyd, Don M. Salubayba, Donna Ruff, Donna & Kyle Hackney, Dorothée Selz, Draga Šusanj, Edie Shimel, Edith S. Ambühl, Edward Mackenzie, Ektoras Binikos, Ella Nitters, Ellen Wallenstein, Eline ‘t Sant, Elin O´Hara Slavick, Elizabeth Michelman, Elizabeth Sarah, Elke Reva Sudin, Emmanuel Garibay, Emma de Clario, Emily Anne Ach, Emily Parsons, Eric Andersen, Eric Anglès, Erin Cross, Esther Waldron, Eva Brunner, Flora Kao, Fluxmuseum, Froilan Calayag, Fran Bull, Fran Freeman, Francesca Pirillo, Francis van der Riet, Frank Krasicki, Frans van Lent, Fred Cray, Gabriel Klavun, Gabrielle de Montmollin, Gary A. Bibb, Geoffrey Hendricks, Geoffrey Owen Miller, Gianfranco Maletti, Ginny Lloyd, Gloria Zein, Grace Graupe Pillard, Grace Yang, Graham McDougal, Gwen Plunkett, Gwyn Michael, H. Rand Swansey, Haley Nagy, Hanjo Schmidt, Harold Lohner, Heather Matthew, Helen Amyes, Helene Berson, Henry Royales, Herb Nolan, Herman James, Horizontal Division Character, Igan D´Bayan, Hilarie Goodenough, Ilona Bogdane, Ingrid Christie, Ira Schneider, Irene Chan / Ch´An Press, Irene Gennaro, Iris van Bebber, Isabelle Battolla, Ivana Rezek, J. Tomas Lopez, Jack Greene, Jack Ryalls, Jack Seiei, Jack Cymber, Jacob Mann, James Baker, James Cook, James E. Hathaway, James Groeling, James Meyer, James Thomas Josephs, Jamie Adams, Jan Kather, Jana Liptak, Jane Tuckerman, Jane Wang, Janice McDonald, Jason K. Dy, Jassy Lupa, Jeanne Jo, Jeffrey Morrison, Jelena Butorac, Jen Nugent, Jennifer D. Anderson, Jennifer Cushman, Jennifer Gioe Peper, Jennifer Scales, Jennifer Zoellner, Jerimiah D. Syme, Jessica McCarrel, Jigger Cruz, Jim Pepe, Jim Shirey, Joan Hain, Joan Harrison, Joanne Licsko, Johanna Bresnick, Jody Jenkins & Mark Claywell, Joel Gendreau, John Coffman, John Held Jr & Mike Dickau, John M. Bennett, John Moore Williams, John Stefanick, John Strauss, John Zoller, Joy Adams, Joyce Sherman, Juan Lazaro, Judith Olivia, HeartSong, Judith Stadler, Judy Negron, Julia Hoffmann, Julie Sadler, Julie Weaverling, Julie Wornan & Peter Lippman, Jurgen Trautwein, K-soul, Kara Petraglia, Kathleen McHugh, Kathy Slamen, Katie Herzog, Katrina Bello, Kay Tuttle, Kaye Mahoney, Keith Buchholz, Kelley Voegelin, Kellie G. / The Undertaker, Keri Marion, Kim Triedman, Kit Brown, Krim Azeddine, Kris Amels, Lan Yan, Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, Lucy Meskill, La Taon Vinh, Larry Lytle, Laura den Hertog, Laura Sharp Wilson, Lauren Broeils-Norwood, Lauren Frances Adams, Lawrence Miller, Laurent Mareschal, Leigh Stewart, Les Joynes, Liane Veronneau, Liese Ricketts, Lin Price, Linda Dubin Garfield, Lisa Sloane, Llorraine Neithardt, Loredana Mariotto, Lorraine A. DarConte, Louise Honey Millmann, Louise Millman, Louise Weinberg, LuAnn Palazzo, Luc Fierens, Luranah Polson, Linda DiGusta & Mark Wiener, Linda Kelly, Linda Plaisted, Linda Shaffer, Luis Locarno, Luz Darriba, Lynn Sullivan, Lynyrd Paras, Madawg, Manel Güell, Mara Patricia Hernández, Mara Thompson, Mare Contrare, Margaret McCann, Margret McDermott, Margie Kelk, Margot McLean, Marina Tsesarskaya, Mariana Smith, Marie Kazalia, Marina Bancroft, Marietta A. Hauser, Mark Bloch, Mark Iwinski, Mark Sink, Mark Williams, Marsha Balian, Mary Bogdan, Mary Bridgman, Mary Campbell, Maryann Vitiello, Marilyn Marvin, Matt Taggart, Matthew Rose, Maureen Piggins, Maya McCormack, Megumi Shimizu, Melissa McCarthy, Melvin Culaba, Merry Rozzelle & Torin Rozzelle, Michael Chan, Michael S. Troop, Michelle Illuminato, Mikelle Terson, Milanka Bunard, Mimi Smith, Moira McCaul, Mur Hayman, Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat, Myriam Abourousse, Nancy Natale, Nancy Kirk, Naomi Klavun, Natalie Giugni, Nathan Alexander Karnovsky & Saul Karnovsky, Nicole Tymowczak, Niki Niederhauser, Nikki Johnson, Osiris Hertz, Pam Farrell, Paul Hunter, Paul McGuirk, Paul Sierra, Patricia Bronstein, Patricia Denys, Patrick Lears, Patti Singer, Paul Duda, Paul Valadez, Penny Beck, Pete Gray, Peter Ciccariello, Peter Dowker, Peter Leighton, Peter Schuyff, Peter Westman, Philip Ebbrell, Pierre Denault, Prawech Pranaprom, Priscilla Heine & Cristian Majcherski, Ravenna Taylor, Re Silvestri, Reed Altemus, Renee Creager O´Brien, Reid Wood, Ria Bauwens, Ria Vanden Eynde, Richard Canard, Richard Tronson, Rick Prol, Rob White, Robert Tucker, Robert Black, Robert Mars, Robert N. Gilmer, Roberta Faccioli, Robin Tewes, Robyn Desposito, Rong Guang Rong, Sabine Schlossmacher, Samuel Monnier, Sandy Gellis, Sara Bomans, Sara Conti, Sarah Clayton, Sarah Elizabeth Condon, Sarah Jane Coleman & Anthony Saint James, Sarah White, Sayraphim Lothian, Scott Hull, Sean White, Sharon Harris, Shirley Hathaway, Siripoj Chamroenvidhya, Slaven Gabric, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Sol Kjøk, Sol Lang, Sophia Oldsman, Sophie Aigner, Brandstifter , Stephanie Sakson, Stephen Perkins, Steve Dalachinsky, Steve Ceraso, Stormie Mills, Sue Johnson, Sur Rodney (Sur ), Susanna Bluhm, Susan Crowson, Susan Shulman, Susan Titus, Susana G. Romanos, Susanne Slavick, Tamar Kasparian, Tamara Wyndham, Tami Notsani, Tara Verheide, Tatiana von Tauber, Theano Nikitas, Thomas Kerr & Joel Cohen, Thomas Kerr / Mike Dickau / Joel Cohen, Tito Honegger, Tom Greenhalgh, Tom J. Byrne, Tom Speight, Tyago Almario, Valery Grancher, Vicky Cull, Vincent Como, Virginia Milici & Walter Fest, W. David Powell, Wang Kun, Wendy Campbell, Wilka Roig, William Brovelli, William Evertson, Willie Marlowe, Woofwow , Yasemin Skrezka, Yiren & James Gallagher, Yoko Ono, Yuki Shiroi, Yukie Ueda, Zelda Zinn, Zuzanna Skiba ...