A User's Manual
Jiri Kolar (Author) Ryan Scott (Translator)
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DescriptionWritten in the 1950s and '60s, the "action poems" comprising a A User's Manual were published in their complete form in 1969 when they were paired with the 52 collages of Weekly 1967, the first of Kolař's celebrated series in which he commented visually on a major event for each week of the year. Taking the form of directives, largely absurd, the poems mock communist society's officialese while offering readers an opportunity to create their own poetics by performing the given directions. The collages on the facing pages to the poems are composed of layered documents, image cutouts, newspaper clippings, announcements, letter fragments, reports, or decontextualized words, oftentimes forming concrete patterns or the outlines of figures, to create a sort of "evidential" report on the year. Text and image taken together, the volume displays Kolař's enduring interest in extracting poetry from the mundane to demolish the barrier separating art from reality, or even to elevate reality itself through this dual poetics to the level of art. What art historian Arsen Pohribný wrote about Weekly 1968 equally applies to Weekly 1967: it "shocks with its abrupt stylistic twists" and is "a Babylonian, hybrid parable of multi-reality." The volume also includes the complete Czech text as an appendix.
Twisted Spoon Press
December 02, 2019
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About the Author
Jiří Kolař (Protivín, 1914 - Prague, 2002) was one of the most important postwar poets/visual artists in Central Europe. A member of the avant-garde Group 42 in Czechoslovakia, most of his major texts were composed in the 1950s and 1960s. He is, however, more well-known abroad for his collage innovations, including his famous series Weekly 1968. Having developed a technique for combining fragments of texts and images from a variety of sources as a way to portray the destruction and fragmentation of the world around him, by the 1970s his work was being exhibited throughout Europe.
Emmy-award winning celebrity chef Ryan Scott hosts cooking demonstrations for major corporate events around the country. Ryan appears on morning and daytime programs such as the TODAY show and Good Morning America dozens of times per year.He is also the author of One to Five (Oxmoor House, 2017) and lives with his family in San Francisco, CA.