November 1969

Dunsyre: Wild Hawthorn Press 1970
51 x 71cm. Printed b/w offset. Furnival's outline drawing of a Scottish fishing boat is placed above Finlay's poem appropriated from the boat number, port, size and painted name - here Xmas Rose. A companion print to Poem/Print No. 11 (Xmas Star). Very good condition. One of 350 copies. Druckgrafik nr 4.70.4.

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Paris: Edition Givaudon, 1969
18 x 29 x 0.4cm, deliberately tarnished and rusted metal outer box with silkscreen printed front (showing the supposed artist's "carte sanitaire" (health card) which is also the first page of the artist's book). The box contains the original artist's book - Boltanski's second - which is 17.5 x 28cm, 6pp offset (although designed to look like a photocopy with blurred, polarised photographs) and an unprinted blue protective front sheet.
The book/collection of sheets describes a fictitious accident which supposedly took place at the Boulevard Carnot and Avenue Jean Jaures (however the modern Paris seems not to have the Avenue anymore but one can find the location by following the Boulevard Carnot on Google street view and comparing Boltanski's photographs).
As with much of early Boltanski's work he is an unreliable narrator - the images and stories in his books and descriptions are not necessarily true and it is difficult to tease out reality from re-creation but then that is the point - history is not accurate, it is always mediated through human memory, frailties and biases.
This is a deluxe copy of the book - it has an original photographic portrait of the "dead" Boltanski on the 18 Novembre 1969 which is signed and numbered by the "dead" artist from an edition of 20 copies - a miracle in itself! All are fine in like rusty slipcase.
This deluxe version of the work is not mentioned in any catalogue raisonne or in the literature. When asked about it (by Paul Robertson) Boltanski remembered the work but no longer had a copy for himself in this deluxe format. A major rarity.

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Woodchester: Opening Press, 1969
23 x 46cm folded to 23 x 12cm. (with six vertical folds). Printed at the Glevum Press in an edition of 500 numbered copies. Finlay's fourth Standing Poem, published as Opening Number 3, edited by his then friend John Furnival.
The card is folded several times - if unopened it shows the title words Pole and Night - an indication of steerage via the stars and internally, once standing open, various words associated with STAR are found including lobstar, hound-star, lonestar, sadstar, crossed star, telestar and eveningstar amongst others (one is reminded of David Bowie's final record Blackstar that also plays a similar word game although the two are obviously not related) -the letters C A T C H are also found amongst the words - associating the layout of letters with a net to secure the fishing boat's target of fish.
Very good +. Scarce. Murray 4.17...