23 October 2012
A Fireside Book of Gurus
Another impeccable reproduction from Cuneiform Press, this time of the mighty Zephyrus Image (perhaps my favorite small press EVER! (that is, next to Cuneiform!)). A Fireside Book of Gurus is a curious novelty: its pages depict nothing but dated zinc cut images of furniture. The gurus of the title have supposedly "defied the delecate waves of photography," refusing "to allow (their images) to reach the negative." Alastair Johnston, author of the ESSENTIAL Zephyrus Image biography, calls A Fireside Book of Gurus "The finest manifestation of (Zephyrus Image's) Dadist aesthetic..." He continues:
"The plain cover has plainer typography (in Parsons, a rather banal and certainly dated typeface from the late Victorian era), on coated white card stock. On browsing through it, the reader sees armchairs, sofas, and other groups of furniture: images recycled from newspaper ads. Each page has one of these vacant chairs and nothing more. The curious reader then turns to the introduction and learns that these "spirit photographs" were made of famous gurus who did not allow their images to reach the negative. It's a brilliant visual pun on the Victorian albums of manipulated photographs purporting to contain ectoplasmic images of the deceased...The book is divided into "Lounge & Parlor Gurus," "Dining Room Gurus," and "Bedroom Gurus." Among the first group is Swami Ribber, among the second, Four Doiley Lamas, and among the bedroom gurus is Krashnamurty."
Essential for collectors of small press curios...Get one at Cuneiform here...