Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wax Buffet: Double Book Launch

Robert Mittenthal   *   Wax World  *  Chax Press
Donato Mancini    *   Buffet World   *  New Star Books

with film from Brandon Downing
Tuesday 3 May 8pm
Gallery 1412
1412 18th Ave (just north of Union) - Seattle WA


Robert Mittenthal
116 pages
Chax Press

Robert Mittenthal is author of Value Unmapped (Nomados), Martyr Economy, Ready Terms (Tsunami Editions), and the newly arrived Wax World (Chax). Irrational Dude, a chapbook of collaborative work with Nico Vassilakis, was published in 2009 by tir aux pigeons. Mittenthal was instrumental in creating and curating the Subtext Reading Series in Seattle.  



Note on Wax World

It’s an unfortunate iron that walks stiffly over us, pressing our clothes. 
I miss the comforts of a baggy garment which covers everything while revealing very little.

How do we come to come to speech when language has been stolen from us, when we’ve lost our words?  What can words convey, when they belong to the interests of the cultural industry as it serves the interests of commerce, industry, government, warfare. 

We’ve lost the word for what connects our public and private selves.  Pre-owned words whitewashed and hung out to fade in the sun.  It’s a contest where juris-diction is denied.  There is no room to plead for the last poet standing.  And without standing, we’re left outside.

We are left with a surface, a wax or skin which registers the vague and shifting impressions.  In this wax world of malleable, soft, false imitation, distorted surface is the only reality we know.  The truth of appearances is that there are only appearances. 

How then to say something clear, definite, decisive.  How offer any certainty of thought or opinion without bullying the reader, the audience?  How make a music out of such unpromising and recalcitrant shifting materials?
The writing in Wax World comes from that condition, explores it, tries to build with that wax, with materials that shift and slide and change even as you use them.


Donato Mancini
128 pages
New Star Books (Vancouver)

textual poems, visual poems and conceptual writings. 
statistics & food & capitalism & death.
full colour.
composed 2003-2010.
for more details, see the New Star website:
The interdisciplinary practice of Donato Mancini focuses mainly on poetry, bookworks, text-based visual art and cultural criticism. His two New Star books of procedural and visual writing, Ligatures (2005) and Æthel (2007) were each nominated for the ReLit Award, and Ligatures received honourable mention in the Alcuin Book design awards. Mancini's collaborative visual works have been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Scandinavia and Cuba. Notable exhibitions include Surveillance Sketch(Artspeak, Vancouver 2003), Untitled: Conversation Loops (The Western Front, Vancouver 2004; with Miguel da Conceicao, Jacob Gleeson, and Elisa Rathje) and Angels in the Angles (Gallery Atsui, Vancouver 2009; with Marina Roy and Christian Bök), and an upcoming exhibition of print objects at CSA (Vancouver). He also co-directed the world's first genuine in-world avatar documentary AVATARA (Centre A, Vancouver 2003), now part of the Ubu Web international archive of experimental film and video. Long time member of the Kootenay School of Writing, he was a principal curator of the interdisciplinary N 49 15.832 - W 123 05.921 Positions Colloquium at VIVO in August 2008. Other recent publications include a book edition from Fillip Editions (Vancouver) entitled Fact `N' Value, as well as poetic and critical writings in publications such as The Capilano Review, Open Letter, West Coast Line, Rampike, W, The West Wind Review, Parser, ditch, Poetry is Dead and Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing.


Visually and conceptually dynamic, Buffet World is Donato Mancini's smorgasbord of verbal and visual poems about food, trade, and life under late–late–capitalism. 

The various ingredients of Buffet World capture Mancini's dissatisfaction with current social conditions. Buffet World underlines our inescapable complicity as (constantly) both victims and victimisers in a system that should leave us choked with rage, but more often dazzles us with surreal spectacle. 

The images in Buffet World are colourful and almost garish, and the words are brilliantly manipulated. Equally concerned with the violence done to our planet, our bodies and imaginations, these startling, funny poems perform a deep cultural critique.

Brandon Downing is a writer and visual artist originally from California. His books of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002) and Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005), while a monograph of his literary collages from1996-2008, Lake Antiquity, was released by Fence Books in late 2009. A long poem, AT   ME, will be released as a chapbook by Octopus Books this Fall, while his next collection, Mellow Actions, will be published by Fence in 2012. In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of collaged digital shorts, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, with a 2nd volume forthcoming in 2011. You can see some at www.youtube.com/user/bdown68, along with his photographic and other work at http://www.brandondowning.org/

No comments: