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“Found Objects” is an eight-page, hardbound book featuring words and images addressing the use of sex in advertising printed on unbleached Arches paper. Handmade, cotton rag paper I produced myself is used for the end sheets and the front and back covers, which feature the letter pressed title and fan logo. The book exists in an edition of seven along with three artist’s proofs. Three copies from the edition are available. The book measures approximately 9"x9".

The artist's proofs consists of the same materials and images. They have minor variations in comparison to the main edition. Here an image may appear slightly higher or lower on the page than I meant for it to be. Or there is some craft mishap such as drops of ink on the page or a little dried glue on the spine.

Statement:

For a while I worked at the University of Georgia Main Library, which houses the Georgia Newspaper Project. Papers from all across the state are microfilmed there. Student workers often run off copies of articles and photos they like. One day I found a photocopy in a drawer of an ad for a 1970’s movie called “Convention Girls”. The tagline was “Convention Girls know every trick in the book… anytime, anyplace, anyway. Convention girls know how to take care of a man… in the most unconventional ways.”

In the ad two topless women look behind their backs at the camera. Under it read:

Notice: Community standards cannot be pre-determined in the making of a motion
picture. Convention Girls is explicit in its presentation. Therefore, those adults
unaccustomed to seeing motion pictures of this nature should not attend.

Adm. $2.00 Wed. thru Sun.
$.99 special Mondays & Tuesdays.
No charge for children under 12.

Also, Games Girls Play (R)
Sun., Mon., Tues.
The Devil's Rain & Virgin Witch
Carroll Drive-in Theatre
Bremen Hwy., Carrollton
Open 7:00 P.M.

Carrollton is my birthplace. As a child I would ride past the drive-in whenever going to church with my grandmother. All of those movies were before my time but I do remember “Rambo: First Blood Part II” being advertised on the marquee. Unfortunately the drive-in closed before I saw any movies there.

One of my grandfathers wrote a column for the newspaper in Carrollton. I inherited a few printing blocks he saved when the paper relocated. My favorite is an image of a fan, but there are also Coca-Cola printing blocks and one for Nehi Cola featuring a woman’s leg wearing a knee high stocking.

In graduate school at New Mexico State University I was assigned to clean and organize the letterpress studio. Among the lead and wood type were a number of printing blocks from newspapers advertisements. There were a few images for theaters and 1970’s B-movies that included taglines like, “Love… the difference between being a female and being a woman!” And “They caged their bodies but not their desires”. One ad showed a woman down on her knees. The other featured three scantily clad women in a bamboo cage, one of which was the actress Pam Grier.

Seinfeld once talked about watching an ad for a soft drink while sitting home alone drinking that very same beverage. The people in the commercial were riding in jeeps over sand dunes and playing volleyball on the beach with beautiful members of the opposite sex in skimpy swimsuits. Seinfeld looked at himself and his surroundings and thought, “Maybe I’m using too much ice.”

I am amused by the use of sex in these advertisements to sell movie tickets or soft drinks you might buy at the concession stand. The logic basically being, “Are you a sexy woman? Do you want to be a sexy woman? Do you desire sexy women? Whatever your answer, drink Nehi.”

Making this book has been one of many steps in my life to become less of a consumer and more of a producer. It also helped me understand how people’s desires are used to sell them things that have nothing to do with those desires. Then there is also the concept of manufacturing desire; advertisements that make you want things you never previously wanted.

The title “Found Objects” is a phrase often used in statements and descriptions by artists working with found materials. The printing blocks were found objects, but the word “objects” also references the sexually objectifying imagery used in these advertisements. It has been interesting watching the reactions to the book. People project their own ideas upon the book's content. Some women do not like the book because it includes images of scantily clad women, while some men like the book for the exact same reason.

The book is not meant to be sexy or sexist. It simply acknowledges what is happening.
______________________________________________________________________

This book is in the Woman's Collection/Blagg-Huey Library at Texas Woman's University in Denton.

Found Objects - Artist's Proof - Handmade Artist's Book - Hardback

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Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: handmade cotton rag paper, arches paper, canapetta bookcloth, irish linen thread, black ink, ink, pva glue
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 8 reviews
  • Favorited by: 15 people