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Campbell, Ken, 1939–

Firedogs / Ken Campbell.

[London] : [Ken Campbell], [1991?]
Physical Description:
[84] p. : ill. ; 38 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
N7433.4 C35 F4 1991+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"This was done during the Gulf War. I found myself listening to the news and thinking about all the destruction and waste. What I did was to use six poems ... The title poem refers to a dreadful event that happened in the Thames estuary [the illegal disposal of hospital waste]: one of the contractors hadn't bothered to burn any of it, and they just tipped it into the river, so you got all of the worse things you can think of coming out of a hospital. It seemed to me a terrible comment on where we were going ... I took various phrases or words or syllables from the text and buried them in the dark margins, as echoes of things ... I took bits of metal that described the grid of the book, the metal plates used for images, the usually unseen nails used to fix them, and worn-out type (laid on its side and made up to type high), and I printed from them; they were like randomised elements of wastage. In different ways it suggested implosion, explosion, fire, and waste; it was an analogy for the waste that was going on in the war ... There were three thunderbolts from Jove visited upon people: premonition, admonition, and retribution. [In the book] they turn from simple arrows of metal looking like rules, to something more complex, like scorpions or F16s, things that are visiting fire and destruction. It's a destructive book, but it's also very beautiful. It's ... about the problem of strange and beautiful things flowering from extremely difficult and violent circumstances, which is one of life's truths."--Ken Campbell, from The word returned.
"While exploiting a traditional format for the book page, worn out pieces of type turned on their side and made type-high, the metal plates used for images, and the usually unseen nails used to fixed them, KC marries our world order of waste with an aesthetic of decay and lost form. The texts include brief Biblical quotations and six poems by KC in Bodoni type, to contrast with textual echoes in wood letter within the dark margins where can be found the admonition 'want not, waste not'. Three thunderbolts, courtesy of Jove, increasingly resemble rockets, F16s, or stinging scorpions. 'Firedogs' was started during the Gulf War."--Publisher's brochure.
Edition of 33. Printed letterpress in multi-color inks, using hand-worked zinc plates, type-high nails, and sandpaper, from Monotype Spartan, Stephenson Blake Bodoni, and wood type. Binding with printed paper boards and slipcase.
Original archival material related to this work is available in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts (Ken Campbell Collection, MSS 25).
Campbell, K. Ken Campbell: an artist's books, 12
Word returned: artist books by Ken Campbell, 15
BAC: British Art Center copy is no. 8 of 33, signed by the artist.
Subject Terms:
Artists' books -- Great Britain.
Campbell, Ken, 1939- -- Publisher.
Waste products.
Artists' books -- Great Britain.

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