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Spatial Poem - Mieko Shiomi

SHIOMI, Mieko.
Spatial Poem.
First edition. Landscape 4to. 70pp. Illustrations and maps throughout. Card wrappers with illustrated dust wrapper. Osaka: Osaka Kikaku Centre, 1976.
A little foxing to the title page. A near fine copy of a scarce publication.

An incredible document that maps nine global events initiated by Fluxus artist Mieko Shiomi from 1965 to 1975. These include a word event, a shadow event, a wind event, a disappearing event, and so on. For the happenings a short instruction was sent to each invited participant. For example, the orbit event scheduled for May 3 - 23 1973 instructed 'let some person's portrait go on a orbit by attaching it to a moving object'.

The long list of participants included many of Shiomi's Fluxus colleagues but also a broad range of practitioners across art, music, literature and performance, such as John Baldessari, Christo, Brion Gysin, Nam June Paik, Allen Ginsberg, John Cage and Carolee Schneemann.

Across the pages Shiomi beautifully records these events by plotting them on maps with text and imagery. The pages read not only as maps but as a visual score or a diary of a moment in time:
Jonas Mekas was standing still in New York
Yuji Takahashi hears a Siamese cat's faint meow in Kamakura
Ben Vautier's interest in art is slowly disappearing in Nice

Shiomi was remarkably ahead of her time in realising the limits that geographical proximity placed on participants and audiences for art. Her collaborative approach to performance and mail art result in an incredibly ambitious and inspiring book object. Here is a multi-dimensional poem that can be read across space and time.

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