August 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
John Wood continues to discover exciting new poets: Ana Cristina Rudholm y Balmaceda and Keagan LeJeune offered two unique voices for different titles with Josephine Sacabo (of which one, Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble, is available). Daniel Westover was an early discovery published in our silver series title, Toward Omega, with Vincent Serbin.
Trinidad del Cielo at a Train Station
BY ANA CRISTINA RUDHOLM Y BALMACEDA
Death flashes me a thin-lipped grin
behind arched windows where I wait
with desert lilies and songs.
In the cantina, promises spill from goblets
and will soon be forgotten-
or remembered forever.
Ghosts open satchels seeking letters and tickets
lost among blue paper birds.
I wait for love sunk long in silver-hewed marbled caves
beneath the river where I hear your cries
lying beautiful and broken-
like tiny, discarded thorns.
You never arrive
so I drain my heart of blood
and offer it to the wind-
who claims it with long fingers
burning in gossamer gloves.
BY KEAGAN LEJEUNE
The food all gone, the dishes cleared,
the table’s centerpiece is all that’s left:
a rosewood bowl with a clutch of eggs,
each a marbled shade of brown or red
and too beautiful to be what they are.
All fact grown fragile as a finger bone,
we ponder them-half in awe, half in dread-
and ache to hold such oddness against our palms.
In the hand, their weight says they are not eggs.
Stones? If so, all rocks are jewels; all earth’s a prize.
Awe and wonder number as pebbles on a shore.
No, we realize the truth rests hidden in the grain.
The showpiece is nothing but a woodwright’s trick:
the spheres aren’t eggs, the eggs aren’t stone,
merely copies spun from a craftsman’s wrist
and lathed with skill enough to dupe the brain.
The carpenter knows best the curse of wood.
His chair never comes out quite the way he’s planned,
and though the board shapes when carved or bent,
what he has made will never stay made for good.
For a moment, though, beauty gathers in that curve,
and there, we hear the whir of his machine,
smell the pine, feel the thatched nest of a bird,
see a host of gilded feathers upon a golden bough.
From the introduction by John Wood
Daniel Westover, a poet as brilliant in his art as Vincent Serbin is in his, had long admired Serbin’s work and shares a similar vast and evolutionary vision. In “The Physics of Angels,” the best poem about angels since Rilke’s Duino Elegies, written to accompany Serbin’s Earth Angel, Westover writes,
They travel fast as photons,
having long ago eclipsed terrestrial speeds
though they once tread on the ground,
wingless as you.
But now they have “broken clear of fettering flesh” and “realized the spirit’s relativity.” Westover tells us they were once like us. They learned “that suns explode and fizzle, that starlight / can lie, concealing a burnt-out source.” Like us
. . . they learned equations, formulae—
mechanics to explain a cosmic clock
and numb them to the gravity of faith.
But when they swiveled skyward,
reason fled beneath that astral tapestry,
for spirit knew what calculus could not:
the universe is more than lifeless flames
and dusty nebulae; it is an orchestra
of life, an iridescent possibility.
And finally in a stanza of intense poetic beauty Westover, like Serbin, weaves physics and metaphysics into one as he writes,
They orbit us, unbound now
by the mind’s lust for quanta, untroubled
by the frequencies of unbelief.
They navigate by their imagination,
and what they see is instant fact.
For time dissolves at light speed,
and fruits of faith are ever-ripe, ever consumed.
Each glimpsed omega is their now,
is wrapped within their wings’ geometries,
and heaven burns with angel lights,
becomes an ever-breathing hymn,
a universe of singing, silent fire.
April 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
21st Editions is now celebrating sixteen years of The Art of the Book! In this series of sixteen emails we are sharing with you a chronology of highlights, events and stories from the beginning of our unique publishing endeavor up until now. We hope you enjoy them.
In 2002 we announced our inaugural Silver Series title, Cante Jondo, with hand-toned silver gelatin prints by Josephine Sacabo. The Silver Series allowed us to follow the trajectory of our Platinum Series monographs while giving us the opportunity to honor yet another important photographic technique, the silver-gelatin print.
I have heard more people than I can recall describe their first experience of seeing a Josephine Sacabo image. They say things like “I loved it”or “I just had to have it.” I remember my own experience on first seeing one of her works; it was like an electrical charge rising out of the image and directly striking me. I thought, “I want to be able to look at this image every day for the rest of my life.”
Our inarticulate attempts to describe the effect of her work is the result of having confronted Sacabo’s duende, having been brought close to the precipice, and having felt, in the words of Spain’s great poet Lorca, that “jet of blood worthy of her pain and her sincerity”that the duende inspired.
Over the years we continued to work with Josephine on The Duino Elegies and Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble, as well as a rare gum-over-platinum triptych from her Ophelia’s Garden series.
From the moment I made my first gravure, I realized I’ve been trying to do this for thirty years in the darkroom . . . jumping through every hoop I can think of to come up with this effect. This is what I’ve been looking for . . .
January 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
We hope you will join us in Santa Monica at PHOTO LA opening next week.
During this year’s PHOTO LA 21st Editions is sponsoring lectures by Josephine Sacabo and Meg Partridge.
On Saturday, January 19th from 11:30am – 1:00pm, filmmaker and Director of the Imogen Cunningham Trust, Meg Partridge will speak about her father, Rondal Partridge, his work and his seventy-plus years making a living as a working photographer. Rondal Partridge is the son of Imogen Cunningham and his mentors and colleagues included Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston. The talk will feature Rondal’s recent project with 21st Editions: The Symmetry of Endeavor.
November 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
We hope you will join us in Miami Beach at the Select Fair running concurrently with Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Select Fair opens Wednesday, December 5 and runs through Sunday, December 9. This exciting new show is located just one block from Art Basel Miami Beach at the Catalina Hotel on Collins Avenue. 21st Editions will be in room 106. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble is the third project that brings 21st Editions together with Josephine Sacabo, one of the most talented artists working today.
Upon my visit to New Orleans earlier in 2012 Josephine escorted me to the Ogden Museum to walk me through her retrospective exhibition of photogravure and silver gelatin prints. The proposal for Gilded Circles and Sure Trouble happened there at the center of that exhibition.
This rather new format, 21st Editions emphasizes a collection of ten signed chine-collé photogravures printed at the artist’s studio with an accompanying book illustrated with 10 signed platinum prints. « Read the rest of this entry »
from John Wood’s introduction in “The Duino Elegies” with poems by Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Leslie Norris and Alan Keele
September 12, 2012 § 1 Comment
Sacabo’s photographs inspired by the Elegies, like all great Symbolist art, are not so much concerned with intellectual content as with emotional content. Their power, grace, and beauty are not lessened by saying they are built upon emotional knowledge rather than intellectual knowledge or to call them, like the Duino Elegies themselves, a product of an intuitive spirituality. Mysticism of any sort demands belief, not analytical reasoning, and great art does not need systems or mythologies to validate or infuse it with meaning.