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Manipulating the Self - General Idea

£175.00

General Idea.
Manipulating the Self. 
First edition. 8vo. Stapled pamphlet with glossy wrappers. B&w plates throughout. Toronto: The Coach House Press, 1971. 
Wrappers somewhat creased. Pages at the back of the publication are water damaged at the upper corners, with some of the images slightly obscured. A well survived copy of an incredibly scarce publication. 

A very fun  artist book documenting an open call mail art project from the collective General Idea, staged roughly a year after their incorporation. The group asked people to send photos of themselves with their arms wrapped around their heads and yanking on their faces. The little book reproduces portraits of people performing the gesture including Ray Johnson and Vincent Trasov. A humorously deadpan opening statement from General Idea reads: ' The head is separate; the hand is separate. Body and mind are separate. The hand is a mirror for the mind - wrap your arm over your head, lodging your elbow behind and grabbing your chin with your hand. The act is now complete. Held, your are holding. You are object and subject, viewed and voyeur.' 


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